N409 Improved Hydraulic Fracture Design Using Microseismic Imaging

Course Facts

Course Code:
2 days
1.6 Continuing Education Units
16 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


This course covers the fundamentals of microseismic imaging including survey design, data processing, and the interpretation of fracture images. Participants will gain a practical understanding of hydraulic fracture stimulation, completions, and reservoir characterization to optimize field development.   

Duration and Training Method

This two-day class utilizes lecture materials, exercises, and recent case history examples from tight sand and shale reservoirs.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Investigate fracture mechanics theory, field operations and equipment, and assess technologies and factors that can influence hydraulic fracture growth.
  2. Evaluate various microseismic monitoring configurations including vertical, horizontal, multi-well, down hole, surface, and shallow buried arrays.
  3. Examine the sequence of data processing steps required to accurately image microseismic events.
  4. Estimate the sensitivity, resolution and confidence of microseismic images, and QC the results.
  5. Integrate best industry practices when contracting for microseismic services.
Introduction and history of microseismic imaging

Basics of hydraulic fracturing

  • Theory of fracture mechanics
  • Field operations
  • Design challenges

Acquisition and pre-survey design

  • Acquisition alternatives
  • Design optimization

Basic data processing of microseismic data

  • Data processing workflows
  • Significance of the velocity model
  • Quality control considerations

Geomechanics of microseismic deformation

  • Microseismic source characterization
  • Microseismic responses to frac deformation

Interpretation of microseismic fracture images

  • Workflows
  • Data integration
  • Confidence assessment
  • Pitfalls

Engineering applications of microseismic imaging

  • Case studies
  • Engineering design improvement
  • Economic considerations

Who should attend

Engineers and geoscientists who wish to utilize microseismic data to improve their understanding of reservoir architecture and microseismic response to hydraulic fracture treatment.

Prerequisites and linking courses

There are no prerequisites for the course, but familiarity with geophysical methods and/or stimulation techniques as well as some experience working with resource plays would be beneficial. Basic Application level exposure to seismic principles is offered in N080 (Geophysics for Subsurface Professionals) and in N085 (Introduction to Seismic Interpretation). Linked Skilled Application level courses include N206 (Seismic Tools for Unconventional Reservoirs), N250 (Evaluation Methods for Shale Reservoirs), N944 (Shale Gas and Shale Oil Completions) and N973 (Reservoir Engineering for Unconventional Gas and Tight Oil Reservoirs).

Click on a name to learn more about the instructor

Shawn Maxwell