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Microseismic + 3D + Log Image Data for Unconventional Targeted Drilling & Treatment

Houston, Mark

The mining of unconventional oil & gas resources has been driven by “cookie-cutter” methods of drilling and completion to deliver thousands of lowest-cost wells. Development goals have focused on change that delivers value: produce more gas/liquids per well NOW, reduce the cost per well and reduce the environmental/operational footprint. In spite of a decade of spectacular success, we have begun to realize that we need to adjust our methods to allow changes and tradeoffs between spending and performance, between short-term and long-term based decisions. Most shale play capital-intensive investment decisions are made on short-term data but some of these early decisions, which may obviate later efforts to extend the life of the field, can significantly reduce future returns.

Although standardized, geometric placement of wells and hydraulic-fracturing treatments may cost less than custom designs in the short-term, we argue that an increase in upfront investment in information to better optimize well placement as well as the number, location and size of frac’ stages will pay off in increased long-term productivity. For example, an understanding of why specific fracturing stages are more effective, could lead to frac’ methods that use less material, cost less, produce more and reduce the treatment “footprint.”

We will present a simplified workflow and examples that illustrate the use of multi-disciplinary data: surface seismic inversion, microseismic monitoring and advanced image logging in a geomechanical context to support custom-design drilling and hydraulic fracturing treatments.

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90162©2013 Pacific Section AAPG, SPE and SEPM Joint Technical Conference, Monterey, California, April 19-25, 2013