Microseismic aids Horn River basin frac work

By OGJ editors
-- Apache Canada Ltd. adjusted hydraulic fracturing parameters in real time as the result of a microseismic survey in the Horn River basin in Northeast British Columbia.

Geophone strings were deployed in a variety of geometries in vertical and horizontal sections of two observation wells for more than 30 days to record microseismic events during more than 75 frac jobs in 13 nearby wells.

Apache used the data to experiment with how different perforation patterns affected fracture propagation and make real-time changes. At one point, for example, the data showed an absence of growing microseismic activity, alerting Apache to switch from pumping proppant to flushing a well with water to avoid a potentially costly sanding-off of the fractures.

Baker Hughes and VSFusion, a borehole seismic processing joint venture between Baker Hughes and CGGveritas, called the project one of the largest frac monitoring surveys ever undertaken. Data were displayed at the field site and in Apache’s offices in Calgary in Houston.

Apache Canada said the ability to evaluate frac effectiveness during and after the project enabled it to optimize the spacing of horizontal wells on future drilling pads. It said the potential cost savings might exceed the survey cost.

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