Fiber Optic Microseismic and Strain Determine Fracture Geometries

OptaSense provides a unique solution for microseismic monitoring. Our fiber-optic interrogators allow for high fidelity microseismic monitoring in individual or multiple wells and can be deployed outside casing as permanent installations or inside wells from retrievable fibers.

Fiber-recorded microseismic is evenly sampled over the full length of a monitoring horizontal. This even and wide aperture sampling allows for a greater level of accuracy in microseismic monitoring source locations. Additionally, this even sampling results in little array bias and allows for a more representative distribution of events from toe to heel.

OptaSense’s real-time solution provides event locations and magnitude estimates autonomously to illuminate the fracture initiation and development. Results are visualized in real-time with optional pumping data, strain data, and temperature measurements.

How It Works

OptaSense’s fiber-optic interrogators monitor distortions along the length of a fiber. This is achieved by emitting rapid light pulses that travel the length of the fiber. Those pulses interact with small imperfections in the glass that result in some light being reflected back to the surface. The position of those reflectors is easily determined by knowing the time of reflection arrival, the speed of light, and the refractive index of the glass. The amplitude and phase shift of those signals are recorded over the full length of the fiber allowing a highly detailed map of the fiber response to be imaged.

Mapping of microseismic events depends on fiber geometry and number of fibers. OptaSense Microseismic Monitoring Service handles any fiber geometry and deployment. Detected events on a single fiber are mapped with reference to treatment wells with excellent and unbiased distribution along the axis of the well. 3D mapped events are obtained using multiple fibered arrays in separate horizontals and/or verticals (see figure above).

In addition to acquiring microseismic, OptaSense also acquires crosswell strain simultaneously. Strain data measures the tension and compression along the fiber that occurs from the opening and closing of hydraulic fractures during treatment. This combined microseismic and strain service enables a complete geomechanical view of the fracture network.

Delivered Value

Advancements in distributed acoustic sensing allow fiber-optic arrays to deliver high quality microseismic results with a fraction of the operational risk. Because fiber-optic deployments utilize the full horizontal, they deliver uniform sampling for the duration of treatment. In all OptaSense acquisitions, our fiber equipment have has maintained recording for the duration of monitoring, and without the need of maintenance. Finally, OptaSense has the ability to record multiple unique datasets on a single fiber. For example, recording both strain and microseismic coincidently on the same fiber allows OptaSense to identify areas that experiencing more fluid driven deformation (strain) to areas that are experiencing stress and pressure driven deformation (microseismic). Microseismic, Crosswell Strain, Well Interference Production Profiling, etc., all being recorded by the same equipment for a more inclusive monitoring service to help understand completions and production.

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