The project goal is to develop fracture and fracture proppant mapping and monitoring technologies that will allow for both efficient and environmentally prudent development of UOG by developing and simultaneously deploying two novel technologies in an UOG well. The first technology, an Injectable Acoustic Micro Emitter (IAME) can be mixed with proppant in small concentrations and injected into the hydraulic fractures concurrent with the proppant to track the actual location of the proppant and compare these locations with the location of the actual fracturing. The second technology is an ultra-sensitive, large bandwidth, large aperture, fiber-optic-based borehole seismic vector sensor array that can be deployed in both vertical and horizontal wells to map the fracturing process and the location of the proppant in the fractures. It will monitor the injection process by recording and locating the microseismic events generated by the primary hydraulic fracturing process of the reservoir rock and by tracking the proppant by recording microseismic data emitted post injection by the IAMEs mixed and injected together with the proppant.
Paulsson, Inc., 16543 Arminta Street, Van Nuys, CA 91406-1745
Terves LLC, 24112 Rockwell Drive, Euclid, OH 44117
Battelle Memorial Institute, 505 King Avenue, Columbus, OH. 43201
Southwestern Energy, 515 W. Greens Road, Houston, TX 77067
In the U.S., very large UOG resources are found in shale deposits. According to a 2009 estimate by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the volume of technically recoverable gas from gas shale is 862 trillion cubic feet (TCF) – enough for 34 years consumption at 2009 level of 24 TCF. In 2012, EIA estimated that the U.S. possesses 33 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil. However, production of these shale gas and oil resources is often inefficient and often has a significant environmental impact due to the lack of detailed images of the reservoir and a poor understanding of the production processes. To lessen the environmental impact and to improve the economy of producing the gas shale resources, one has to be able to map the natural fractures in greater detail than what is possible today and monitor the induced hydraulic fracturing and the proppant in the fractures at much greater resolution than what is possible today.
It has been shown that borehole seismology is technically able to map both natural and induced fractures in 3D, and monitor the process of inducing fractures using 3C borehole seismic data from both active and natural sources. It is thus established that if large volumes of high quality borehole seismic data can be recorded in vertical and horizontal boreholes drilled to and into shale gas and oil reservoirs, the data can be used to image and monitor the reservoirs. Such improved understanding can only be obtained by applying an array of advanced seismic mapping and monitoring technologies recording a full suite of high quality seismic data. This project will develop a multi reservoir attribute mapping and monitoring system to provide a new level of understanding of shale reservoirs that will enhance the production and make the shale gas and oil production processes environmentally prudent by improving production efficiency and safer for the surrounding communities through better control.
High resolution imaging and monitoring of shale gas and oil reservoirs are critical to effectively produce and manage these reservoirs. In the past, borehole seismic imaging and monitoring have shown to have a great potential to provide the images and the monitoring information to manage these reservoirs. However, these techniques have in many ways fallen short; the amount of data has not been sufficient and the quality of the data has many times been poor.
Paulsson will build a borehole seismic system that overcomes the short falls of the current borehole seismic acquisition and processing technologies. The new borehole seismic system will allow deployment in both vertical and horizontal wells, which is not possible with commercial systems today without using expensive and fragile well tractors for the deployment. The new borehole seismic system will have a bandwidth from ~0 Hz to 6,000 Hz, which is much broader than provided by any existing commercial system. The new system will be about 100 times more sensitive than geophone based systems. The new system will deploy sensors with an 80 dB rejection of out of plane seismic energy. The new system will allow for deployment in deeper wells, at higher pressures and temperatures than what is possible today. In combination, the new fiber optic based seismic sensor will record far superior data which will allow for the generation of superior images and superior detection and location of micro-seismic events.
The development of AMEs, together with the means to record data from the AMEs, will for the first time provide operators of UOG resources with a proppant tracking technology that potentially will allow the operators to calibrate and tune the hydro-fracturing and proppant injection processes.
The project period of performance has ended. Paulsson Inc. completed their final technical report and project presentation both have been attached to this project summary
Fiber Optic Seismic Vector Sensor Arrays (June 2020)
by Paulsson, Inc. and Injectable Micro Emitters by Terves LLC [PDF]
Final Scientific/Technical Report [PDF] December 2019
Injection and Tracking of Micro Seismic Emitters to Optimize UOG Development (Aug 2017)
Presented by Bjorn Paulsson, Paulsson Inc., 2017 Carbon Storage and Oil and Natural Gas Technologies Review Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA
Injection and Tracking of Micro Seismic Emitters to Optimize UOG Development (Aug 2016)
Presented by Bjorn Paulsson, Paulsson Inc., 2016 Carbon Storage and Oil and Natural Gas Technologies Review Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA