Temporal evolution of stress states from hydraulic fracturing source mechanisms in the Marcellus shale

Sherilyn Williams-Stroud, Carl W. Neuhaus, Cherie Telker, Christine Remington, William Barker, Garret Neshyba, Keith Blair

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

Abstract

Hydraulic fracture stimulation treatments of 17 wells have been monitored with a shallow buried array for induced microseismicity in the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia, USA. The wide azimuth and large coverage area (18 square miles) of the shallow buried array allowed identification of the source mechanisms of all of the detected events, enabling a statistical analysis of failure mode and associated stress state at failure for all the events in space and time. Detailed analysis of source mechanisms of the largest events revealed heterogeneous failure plane orientations and slip directions, with a combination of dip-slip and strike-slip failure and varying amounts of volumetric failure. Stress inversion analysis of these source mechanisms allowed characterization of the local stress tensor, and how the stress tensor changed from the beginning to the end of the stimulation treatment. The failure mechanisms observed to occur more frequently at the beginnings of the fracture stages were dip-slip and strike-slip failure mechanisms were more common at the ends of the fracture stages. Utilizing the timing of the types of source mechanisms to define temporal groups, the stress inversion analysis showed that the stress state in the stimulated rock changed from being consistent with the regional NE-oriented maximum horizontal stress orientation with sigma1 vertical to a stress state where the maximum horizontal stress becomes sigma1 and is horizontal. The temporal stress state is quantitatively identified and it is demonstrated that the fracture growth directions responds to the temporal stress state. This information can be used by operators to respond to or exploit the expected fracture failure mode and direction, and also to design stimulation treatments that develop complex fracture networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference 2012, CURC 2012
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
Pages1285-1290
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781622764884
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventSPE Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference 2012, CURC 2012 - Calgary, AB, Canada
Duration: Oct 30 2012Nov 1 2012

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference 2012, CURC 2012
Volume2

Conference

ConferenceSPE Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference 2012, CURC 2012
CountryCanada
CityCalgary, AB
Period10/30/1211/1/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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