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3D Seismic Attribute-Assisted Analysis of Microseismic Events Within the Marcellus Shale

Ariel K. Hart1, Thomas H. Wilson2, and Peter Sullivan3
1West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, United States
2NETL and West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, United States
3ECA, Charleston, WV, United States

Microseismic monitoring is often used during the process of oil and gas exploitation to monitor seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing, a common practice in the Appalachian Basin. Anthropogenically-induced minor upward fracture growth is not uncommon in the Marcellus shale; however, in the area of study, significant microseismic activity was registered above the target zone. In order to ascertain which areas are more likely to experience brittle failure first, 3D seismic data will be analyzed with a focus on better understanding variations in the physical properties associated with unconventional naturally fractured reservoirs. The reservoir’s response to hydraulic fracturing also provides insights into local stress anisotropy and into optimal well spacing needed to maximize drainage area and locate additional wells during the field development phase. 3D seismic attributes such as 3D curvature, chaos, dip deviation, variance, and ant tracking will be used to identify more intensely deformed areas. Areas of higher curvature and local seismic discontinuity, for example, generally define more intensely deformed areas. In turn, more intensely deformed strata are generally associated with zones of increased fracture intensity, and these zones may represent areas of increased risk for out-of-zone stress release in response to hydraulic fracturing. Ideally this study will fit into the larger framework of previous case studies that can be used to better understand shale gas reservoirs, make hydrocarbon extraction safer, more efficient, and more predictable.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90182©2013 AAPG/SEG Student Expo, Houston, Texas, September 16-17, 2013