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 seismic sensor technologies in an UOG well. The first technology, an Acoustic Micro Emitter (AME) can be mixed with proppant in small concentrations and injected into the hydraulic fractures concurrent with the conventional 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-Opti Seismic Vector Sensor (FOSVS) array that can be deployed in both vertical and horizontal wells to map the actual rock fracturing process, the location of the proppant, and the location of the AME injected into the fractures. The FOSVS will monitor the injection process by recording and locating the microseismic events generated by the primary hydraulic fracturing process of the reservoir rock, the location of the proppant, and the size of the fractures by recording microseismic data emitted post injection by the AMEs mixed and injected together with the proppant.
Paulsson Inc., 16543 Arminta Street, Van Nuys, CA 91406-1745
Fluidion, 231 Rue St. Honore. 75001 Paris, France
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 of consumption at the 2009 level of 24 TCF/year. 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 improve the economy of producing the shale gas resources, one has to be able to map the natural fractures in greater detail, and monitor the induced hydraulic fracturing and injection of the proppant in the fractures at much greater resolution than what is possible today. Tracking of both the hydraulic fracturing and the location of the proppant will allow us to ascertain the effectivess of both the hydraulic fracturing and the injection of the proppant.
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. Simultaneously with recording seismic vector data the optical system will record Distributed Temperature Sensor data and Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) data, further improving our understanding of the reservoirs and the dynamic UOG recovery process. In the future, other optical based sensors can be added to create a multisensory Optical Reservoir Characterization System.
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 temporally and spatially, and the quality of the data has been poor.
Paulsson is building a borehole seismic system that overcomes the shortfalls 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 what is provided by any existing commercial system. The new system will be approximately 100 times more sensitive than geophone based borehole seismic systems. The new optical sensor 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. The new FOSVS sensor has been tested at 320°C (608°F). 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 using the FOSVS system, 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 Paulsson project team are investigating a new data telemetry approach to further lower the noise in the data which will result in an improved Signal-to-Noise (S/N) ratio. The team is also in the process of completing the manufacturing of the sensor pod housings. The team is planning two field deployments during. First, a small scale field test at the Devine Testing Facility to assess the energy output of the AMEs and to study the generated waveforms from different AMEs subsurface and to test the Fiber Optic Sensor System’s (FOSS) ability to locate the AME subsurface. Second, deploy AME’s along with proppant during a hydraulic fracturing operation and measure their signal using the multiple level array of the FOSS from an adjacent wellbore. Paulsson has requested a No Cost Extension for one year. The project is proposed to be extended to a new award end date of September 30, 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