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Title: Evaluation of Deep Subsurface Resistivity Imaging for Hydrofracture Monitoring

This report describes the results of the first of its kind monitoring of a hydrofracture operation with electromagnetic measurements. The researchers teamed with oil and gas producer Encana Corporation to design and execute a borehole to surface monitoring of three fracture stages at a well pad in central Colorado. The field project consisted of an equipment upgrade, a survey design and modeling phase, several weeks of data collection, and data processing and interpretation. Existing Depth to Surface Resistivity (DSR) instrumentation was upgraded to allow for continuous high precision recording from downhole sources. The full system can now collect data continuously for up to 72 hours, which is sufficient to measure data for 10 frac stages. Next we used numerical modeling and frac treatment data supplied by Encana to design a field survey to detect EM signal from induced fractures. Prior to modeling we developed a novel technique for using well casing as an antenna for a downhole source. Modeling shows that 1) a measurable response for an induced fracture could be achieved if the facture fluid was of high salinity 2) an optimum fracture response is created when the primary source field is parallel to the well casing but perpendicularmore » to the fracture direction. In mid-July, 2014 we installed an array of more than 100 surface sensors, distributed above the treatment wells and extending for approximately 1 km north and 750 m eastward. We applied a 0.6 Hz square wave signal to a downhole current electrode located in a horizontal well 200 m offset from the treatment well with a return electrode on the surface. The data were transmitted to a recording trailer via Wi-Fi where we monitored receiver and transmitter channels continuously in a 72-hour period which covered 7 frac stages, three of which were high salinity. Although the background conditions were very noisy we were able to extract a clear signal from the high salinity stages. Initial data interpretation attempts consisting of trying to directly invert collected data using a simple background starting model did not produce reasonable models. We next used a simulated data set to develop a constrained inversion workflow that places the downhole fracture in the correct location. Finally, we used a combination of forward and inverse models to fit the collected data to a model that incorporated 3 frac stages. This project provided a first-of-its-kind application of EM technology to map an induced fracture. The results demonstrated a clear anomaly during the operation that can be fit to a reasonable model of an induced fracture.« less
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  1. GroundMetrics, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
GroundMetrics, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States