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Dorion J.-F.,Niobec Inc. | Hosseini Z.,ESG Solutions
47th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium 2013 | Year: 2013

The Niobec underground niobium mine is located twenty-five kilometres northwest of Ville de Saguenay (Chicoutimi), within the limits of the municipality of Saint-Honoré, Québec. The mine is North America's only source of pyrochlore, the primary niobium ore. All of Niobec ore is extracted by bulk open stope mining with no fill. A mining throughput rate of 10Mtpy is expected with the future block caving method. The life-span of the mine is estimated at about 40 years with the known mineral resource. Some seismic events have occurred in the last number of years. Most of these events occurred in pillars between open stopes or directly in open stopes. Damage from these events has included small rock projections, raveling and fractures. As Niobec has no seismic detection system in place, the epicenter location of each event has been difficult to determine. The design of a seismic system was undertaken in the summer of 2012. Niobec will be able to monitor seismic activity for the current open stope mining operator as well as for the future block caving method by strategically placing the equipment in existing openings above any planned undercuts for the progression of the caves. Copyright 2013 ARMA, American Rock Mechanics Association.


HOUSTON, Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ESG Solutions, an industry leader in microseismic technology and services, is pleased to welcome the technical expertise of Eric von Lunen as Senior Advisor, Reservoir and Rock Mass Characterization and Dr. Doug Angus as Advisor, Geomechanics to...


Verdon J.P.,University of Bristol | Wuestefeld A.,ESG Solutions
74th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2012 Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2012: Responsibly Securing Natural Resources | Year: 2012

The effect of fractures on seismic waves is controlled by the normal and tangential compliances of the fractures (BN and BT). Rock physics models and laboratory experiments have indicated that BN/BT will be influenced by (1) the bulk modulus of the fluid filling the fracture, (2) the degree of connectivity between the fracture and equant pore space, and (3) the internal architecture of the fracture, such as the roughness of fracture faces, or the presence of detrital or diagenetic infilling material. Therefore, measurements of BN/BT will provide useful information during hydraulic fracture stimulation. We develop a method to invert S-wave splitting (SWS) data, measured on microseismic events recorded on downhole geophone arrays, for the ratio of normal to tangential compliance (BN/BT) of sets of aligned fractures. We demonstrate this method by inverting for BN/BT using SWS measurements made during hydraulic fracture stimulation of the Cotton Valley tight gas reservoir, Texas. When the full SWS dataset is inverted, we find that BN/BT=0.74±0.04. Windowing the data by time, we have been able to observe temporal variations, finding that BN/BT varies as the stimulation progresses, and most notably when proppant is injected.


Jechumtalova Z.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Sileny J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Trifu C.-I.,ESG Solutions
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2014

The resolution of event mechanism is investigated in terms of the unconstrained moment tensor (MT) source model and the shear-tensile crack (STC) source model representing a slip along the fault with an off-plane component. Data are simulated as recorded by the actual seismic array installed at Ocnele Mari (Romania), where sensors are placed in shallow boreholes. Noise is included as superimposed on synthetic data, and the analysis explores how the results are influenced (i) by data recorded by the complete seismic array compared to that provided by the subarray of surface sensors, (ii) by using three-or one-component sensors and (iii) by inverting P-and S-wave amplitudes versus P-wave amplitudes only. The orientation of the pure shear fracture component is resolved almost always well. On the other hand, the noise increase distorts the non-double-couple components (non-DC) of the MT unless a highquality data set is available. The STC source model yields considerably less spurious non-shear fracture components. Incorporating recordings at deeper sensors in addition to those obtained from the surface ones allows for the processing of noisier data. Performance of the network equipped with three-component sensors is only slightly better than that with uniaxial sensors. Inverting both P-and S-wave amplitudes compared to the inversion of P-wave amplitudes only markedly improves the resolution of the orientation of the source mechanism. Comparison of the inversion results for the two alternative source models permits the assessment of the reliability of non-shear components retrieved. As example, the approach is investigated on three microseismic events occurred at Ocnele Mari, where both large and small non-DC components were found. The analysis confirms a tensile fracturing for two of these events, and a shear slip for the third. © The Authors 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society.


Jhamandas S.,ESG Solutions
Hart's E and P | Year: 2011

ESG Solutions, one of the world's only designers of microseismic-specific instrumentation, has successfully transformed a short-term fracture mapping technique into a powerful, cost-effective reservoir monitoring technology. Steam chamber growth can be mapped, and adjustments can be made to steaming programs to target any identified regions of bypassed oil. The frequency characteristics of a well casing shear can be characterized, enabling operators to react immediately to potentially hazardous events. Advanced geophysical analysis such as seismic moment tensor inversion (SMTI) can characterize micro-seismic events by their specific failure type, allowing engineers and geophysicists to learn exactly how the reservoir rock is breaking. The microseismic analysis can be used to validate the engineering process and calibrate geomechanical models that can be used to forecast reservoir response to subsequent stimulation programs.


Urbancic T.I.,ESG Solutions | Wuestefeld A.,ESG Solutions | Baig A.,ESG Solutions
75th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2013 Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2013: Changing Frontiers | Year: 2013

To properly characterize and interpret microseismic events appropriate instrumentation and digitization needs to be utilized to maximize the usable bandwidth of the signals. We discuss various influences on data quality of the recording system, consisting of geophone elements, the sensor pod, a cable, a mechanism to couple the pods to the wellbore, the coupling of the wellbore to the earth, and the digitizing/recording units. Each of these components introduces noise into the observed signal that can erode signal quality and thereby result in limiting the usable bandwidth. To enhance the magnitude range to be covered properly, we propose the use of a system with mixed frequency response sensors to be used. We furthermore discuss how coupling affects signal quality, noise characteristics and temporal variation of vector fidelity. Copyright © (2012) by the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers All rights reserved.


Wuestefeld A.,ESG Solutions | Urbancic T.I.,ESG Solutions | Baig A.,ESG Solutions
75th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2013 Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2013: Changing Frontiers | Year: 2013

Microseismic data provides insights on the efficiency of a hydrocarbon field stimulation program. Current interpretation is often limited to assessing stimulated fracture geometry and number of events. Classical flow patterns, based on symmetric and homogeneous flow, are then often assumed to predict drainage areas and production volumes. In an attempt to link geophysical data with reservoir engineering, we here present a novel approach, using in situ measurements on the strain imparted on the rock mass by individual rock failures. Moment tensor inversion of the microseismic events yields the failure mechanism and orientation of each event. Historically, the resultant strain field of all events has been used to mapping compartments of parallel strain. Here, we here extent this approach assuming that tensile strain on the rock mass opens preferred flow path ways. By mapping stream lines through the strain field it is thus possible to identify drainage patterns of individual ports throughout the stimulated reservoir volume. Copyright © (2012) by the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers All rights reserved.


Leslie I.,ESG Solutions
Mining Magazine | Year: 2013

As the depths of open-pit operations continue to increase, stresses within and beneath pit walls can cause considerable instability on slope surfaces. Monitoring systems represent an essential tool to mitigate economic and safety risk associated with slope failure. Despite the fact that seismic monitoring of underground mines is well established, the application of this technology to monitor open-pit mines is relatively recent. The knowledge of seismicity behind pit walls offers engineers an excellent opportunity to evaluate rock-mass behaviour, track fracture propagation and potentially predict slope stability issues before they manifest on the surface. Natural expansion of microseismic systems can be used to aid the transition from large open-pit operations to underground mass mining, during which considerable seismicity is expected.


Bowman S.,ESG Solutions | Cochrane A.,ESG Solutions | Urbancic T.,ESG Solutions
5th EAGE Passive Seismic Workshop: From Wish List to To-Do List | Year: 2014

Microseismic monitoring has become an accepted method for monitoring fracture growth and stimulation effectiveness during hydraulic fracturing. In addition to delineating fracture dimensions and orientation, microseismic methods can also provide insight into local stress states adjacent to geological structures and their influence on fracture propagation. Understanding the role geology plays on fracture growth is integral to the planning and completion program of a hydraulic fracture treatment. In general, fractures will propagate in the direction of maximum horizontal stress which is controlled by the regional stress in the area. In contrast, we will show how local complex geologies can have a greater effect on fracture growth and fracture orientation as compared to a fracture network directly influenced by the regional stresses.


Kocon K.,ESG Solutions | Urbancic T.,ESG Solutions | Baig A.,ESG Solutions
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference 2014 | Year: 2014

For vertically stacked wells undergoing hydraulic fracture stimulation, the order in which wells are stimulated can affect the achieved fracture length, width, height and intensity. We examine the effect of stimulation order for the plug-and-perf completion of two pairs of vertically stacked wells in the Marcellus Shale. Each pair of lateral wells hosts one well targeting the Lower Marcellus Formation, and one well targeting the Upper Marcellus Formation. All stages are completed in one well before moving to the next. For one pair of laterals, the Lower Marcellus is simulated before the Upper Marcellus. In this case, the cumulative seismic moment, and by extension the reservoir deformation, is much greater for the well which is completed second. In the next pair of laterals the stimulation order reverses and the Upper Marcellus Formation is stimulated before the Lower Marcellus. In this case, the cumulative seismic moment, and by extension total reservoir deformation, is again much greater for the well that is completed second. For the wells targeting both the Upper and Lower Marcellus, the achieved fracture length and width is independent of which Formation is simulated first. However, for both formations the kurtosis of the depth distribution is greater for whichever Formation is stimulated second. These observations demonstrate that in situ stress changes induced by hydraulic fracturing effect achieved fracture length and fracture intensity in the Marcellus Formation. Copyright © (2014) by the Society of Petroleum Engineers All rights reserved.

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