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Ambient Seismic Imaging Throughout the Life Cycles of Unconventional Fields

21 January, 2016
Who Should Attend
Anyone interested in unconventional exploration and development, hydraulic fracturing, geomechanics, hydraulic fracture simulation, or reservoir simulation. Also, those interested in applications of ambient seismic imaging to exploration and development of fractured or conventional reservoirs.
Provide an overview of a new ambient seismic imaging method and applications of the method throughout the lifecycles (exploration through refracing) of unconventional oil and/or gas fields.  These applications include: direct imaging of hydraulic fractures, hydraulically stimulated natural fractures, stimulated reservoir volumes, and producing volumes; stress mapping in three dimensions before, during and after fracing; and Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) frac and reservoir simulation.

Review applications of ambient seismic imaging to exploration and development of conventional and fractured reservoirs.

Review the types of seismic phenomena produced by hydraulic fracturing and the value of imaging total trace energy instead of simply locating microearthquakes.  (Microearthquakes produce only a small fraction of the seismic signal.)

Course Content

Newly developed ambient seismic imaging methods have valuable applications in each phase of the life cycles of unconventional fields. Exploration, development planning, design of hydraulic fractures and refractures, reservoir management and production forecasting benefit from detailed three-dimensional images of natural and induced seismic activity. The method also is applied to monitor production and waterfloods in conventional reservoirs, CO2 sequestration, water influx into mines, mine stability, mine monitoring, and water or CO2 floods.

The method:
  • Produces direct images of hydraulic fractures and natural fractures stimulated by hydraulic fractures as complex surfaces and networks.
  • Can image the natural, continuous background seismicity of the earth during 3D reflection surveys and prior to frac monitoring. The resulting images are direct indicators of natural-fracture-mediated permeability.
Applications that will be discussed include:
  • Identifying natural fracture zones prior to drilling and fracing.
  • Direct imaging of both the Stimulated Reservoir Volume and the Active Production Volume.
  • Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) frac and reservoir simulation. (The images can be imported directly into DFN simulators.)
  • Inversion of the images to map reservoir stress and stress changes before fracing, during fracing, and during production.
  • Refrac monitoring.

Imaging artificial or natural seismic emissions from the earth is not synonymous with “microseismic” imaging, i.e. with imaging only earthquakes with a magnitude ≤0. Research in recent years has shown that many other types of seismic emissions occur, and that these emissions dominate the signal. Summing the total seismic emissions at each point in a rock volume over extended time periods (minutes to hours to days) produces detailed images of the distribution of the earth’s natural continuous background seismicity, of hydraulic fractures, stimulated reservoir volumes, producing reservoir volumes, and natural fractures. This e-Symposium will describe a new imaging method that images total trace energy in this manner and extracts discrete fracture surfaces from the resulting data volumes. The emphasis will be on applications of the method, but a brief high-level overview of the geophysics of the method will also be provided. Also, we will review the types of seismic phenomena and the purpose of imaging with total trace energy rather than simply searching for specific microearthquakes events.

For a more detailed description of the material that will be covered please read: Lacazette, A., Laudon, C., 2015, Technology update: Ambient seismic imaging throughout the unconventional field’s life cycle: Journal of Petroleum Technology, v.67, no. 10 (October), p. 32-35.

Course materials will be available for download after the course closes.
Expires on
16 November, 2015
Member Tuition without CEU
Expires on
16 November, 2015
Non-member Tuition without CEU
Expires on
16 November, 2015
StudentTuition without CEU
Expires on
16 November, 2015
Member Tuition with CEU
Expires on
16 November, 2015
Non-member Tuition with CEU
Expires on
16 November, 2015
Student Tuition with CEU
Registration for the E-Symposium and the Expanded package for CEU credit is $100 for AAPG members, and $145 for non-members. Special Student Pricing: $25 for Webinar only; $35 for Expanded package. Limited to 15 slots.  No refunds for cancellations after December 17, 2015.


Alfred Lacazette Global Geophysical Services
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