An alternative interpretation of microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing

Arash Dahi Taleghani, Juan M. Lorenzo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is common practice in industry to monitor hydraulic fracturing jobs by picking major, micro-earthquake events in seismograms whose source locations form a spatial pattern used for interpreting induced fractures. Surprisingly, controversy still surrounds the interpretation of these scattered, discrete events. Many authors conclude that hydraulic fractures are generated by shear failure events rather than tensile failures. This interpretation contradicts our common understanding of fracture mechanics, which describes the hydraulic fracture process as taking place predominantly in mode-I failure (pure tension). We propose that band-width limited instrumentation during seismic field recording may be partly to blame. Low-frequency (<5 Hz) tensile-source events which are expected to occur continuously between shear events are largely ignored. Herein, we try to compare the total energy of detected shear events with the total energy of expected low-frequency tensile events in the background in order to justify the main (tensile) mechanism of fracturing. Major, shear-mechanism events may not describe accurately the temporal and spatial pattern of induced fractures in the subsurface. Shear events may only represent the locations where hydraulic fractures intersect pre-existing discontinuities. Therefore, by only considering shear events, we may not be able to make a correct estimation of the orientation and extension of the hydraulic fractures. We suggest that only by recording silent (low frequency) events, we will truly be able to describe induced subsurface fracture geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011
Pages481-491
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Jun 27 2011
EventSPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011 - The Woodlands, TX, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2011Jan 26 2011

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011

Other

OtherSPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011
CountryUnited States
CityThe Woodlands, TX
Period1/24/111/26/11

Fingerprint

Hydraulic fracturing
Hydraulics
fracture geometry
earthquake event
microearthquake
fracture mechanics
seismogram
instrumentation
energy
hydraulic fracturing
Fracture mechanics
discontinuity
Earthquakes
Bandwidth
industry
Geometry
Industry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this

Dahi Taleghani, A., & Lorenzo, J. M. (2011). An alternative interpretation of microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing. In Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011 (pp. 481-491). (Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011).
Dahi Taleghani, Arash ; Lorenzo, Juan M. / An alternative interpretation of microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing. Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011. 2011. pp. 481-491 (Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011).
@inproceedings{1c438a10e35c487082294f6ad4cd6a5a,
title = "An alternative interpretation of microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing",
abstract = "It is common practice in industry to monitor hydraulic fracturing jobs by picking major, micro-earthquake events in seismograms whose source locations form a spatial pattern used for interpreting induced fractures. Surprisingly, controversy still surrounds the interpretation of these scattered, discrete events. Many authors conclude that hydraulic fractures are generated by shear failure events rather than tensile failures. This interpretation contradicts our common understanding of fracture mechanics, which describes the hydraulic fracture process as taking place predominantly in mode-I failure (pure tension). We propose that band-width limited instrumentation during seismic field recording may be partly to blame. Low-frequency (<5 Hz) tensile-source events which are expected to occur continuously between shear events are largely ignored. Herein, we try to compare the total energy of detected shear events with the total energy of expected low-frequency tensile events in the background in order to justify the main (tensile) mechanism of fracturing. Major, shear-mechanism events may not describe accurately the temporal and spatial pattern of induced fractures in the subsurface. Shear events may only represent the locations where hydraulic fractures intersect pre-existing discontinuities. Therefore, by only considering shear events, we may not be able to make a correct estimation of the orientation and extension of the hydraulic fractures. We suggest that only by recording silent (low frequency) events, we will truly be able to describe induced subsurface fracture geometries.",
author = "{Dahi Taleghani}, Arash and Lorenzo, {Juan M.}",
year = "2011",
month = "6",
day = "27",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9781617823084",
series = "Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011",
pages = "481--491",
booktitle = "Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011",

}

Dahi Taleghani, A & Lorenzo, JM 2011, An alternative interpretation of microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing. in Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011, pp. 481-491, SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011, The Woodlands, TX, United States, 1/24/11.

An alternative interpretation of microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing. / Dahi Taleghani, Arash; Lorenzo, Juan M.

Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011. 2011. p. 481-491 (Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - An alternative interpretation of microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing

AU - Dahi Taleghani, Arash

AU - Lorenzo, Juan M.

PY - 2011/6/27

Y1 - 2011/6/27

N2 - It is common practice in industry to monitor hydraulic fracturing jobs by picking major, micro-earthquake events in seismograms whose source locations form a spatial pattern used for interpreting induced fractures. Surprisingly, controversy still surrounds the interpretation of these scattered, discrete events. Many authors conclude that hydraulic fractures are generated by shear failure events rather than tensile failures. This interpretation contradicts our common understanding of fracture mechanics, which describes the hydraulic fracture process as taking place predominantly in mode-I failure (pure tension). We propose that band-width limited instrumentation during seismic field recording may be partly to blame. Low-frequency (<5 Hz) tensile-source events which are expected to occur continuously between shear events are largely ignored. Herein, we try to compare the total energy of detected shear events with the total energy of expected low-frequency tensile events in the background in order to justify the main (tensile) mechanism of fracturing. Major, shear-mechanism events may not describe accurately the temporal and spatial pattern of induced fractures in the subsurface. Shear events may only represent the locations where hydraulic fractures intersect pre-existing discontinuities. Therefore, by only considering shear events, we may not be able to make a correct estimation of the orientation and extension of the hydraulic fractures. We suggest that only by recording silent (low frequency) events, we will truly be able to describe induced subsurface fracture geometries.

AB - It is common practice in industry to monitor hydraulic fracturing jobs by picking major, micro-earthquake events in seismograms whose source locations form a spatial pattern used for interpreting induced fractures. Surprisingly, controversy still surrounds the interpretation of these scattered, discrete events. Many authors conclude that hydraulic fractures are generated by shear failure events rather than tensile failures. This interpretation contradicts our common understanding of fracture mechanics, which describes the hydraulic fracture process as taking place predominantly in mode-I failure (pure tension). We propose that band-width limited instrumentation during seismic field recording may be partly to blame. Low-frequency (<5 Hz) tensile-source events which are expected to occur continuously between shear events are largely ignored. Herein, we try to compare the total energy of detected shear events with the total energy of expected low-frequency tensile events in the background in order to justify the main (tensile) mechanism of fracturing. Major, shear-mechanism events may not describe accurately the temporal and spatial pattern of induced fractures in the subsurface. Shear events may only represent the locations where hydraulic fractures intersect pre-existing discontinuities. Therefore, by only considering shear events, we may not be able to make a correct estimation of the orientation and extension of the hydraulic fractures. We suggest that only by recording silent (low frequency) events, we will truly be able to describe induced subsurface fracture geometries.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79959443088&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79959443088&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:79959443088

SN - 9781617823084

T3 - Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011

SP - 481

EP - 491

BT - Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011

ER -

Dahi Taleghani A, Lorenzo JM. An alternative interpretation of microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing. In Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011. 2011. p. 481-491. (Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference 2011).