October 16

Fall Exploration Seminar 2012

Dr. Peter Duncan, Founder, President, and CEO of Microseismic Inc. will present 2-3 pm on Tuesday, October 16 in SAC 3.114.

.:Directions to the Student Activity Center:

.:Elevators that go to the 3rd floor are only on the west side of the building near the hospitality desk. If you cannot  find the room ask the hospitality desk or call Sarah Coyle at (281) 785- 8722

.:Please try to arrive early so as not to interrupt the the speaker.



Peter M. Duncan was founding President of MicroSeismic, Inc. a Houston based geophysical service company. He holds a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Toronto. He began his career as an exploration geophysicist with Shell Canada before joining Digicon Geophysical, first in Calgary then in Houston. In 1987 he helped Digicon found ExploiTech Inc, an exploration and production consultancy. He was named President of ExploiTech when it became a subsidiary of Landmark Graphics in 1989. In 1992 he was one of 3 founders of 3DX Technologies Inc., an independent oil and gas exploration company where he served as Vice President and Chief Geophysicist. Duncan was 2003-04 President of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). Duncan was the Fall 2008 SEG/AAPG Distinguished Lecturer speaking on the subject of passive seismic at 45 venues around the world. He is a Life Member of SEG and an Honorary Member of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG) and the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE)


Microseismic Monitoring: its contribution to reservoir exploitation

In a very real way microseismic monitoring,is to conventional reflection seismic asa stethoscope is to a sonograph. It iscontinuous 4-D. It is accomplished bylistening carefully to the sounds emanatingfrom the earth and then diagnosing whatis happening “down there”. Passives eismic techniques, including microseismicmonitoring , can create not only an imageof the reservoir and its plumbing, but alsoshed light on how the fluid flows through thepipes. While interest in passive seismiclhas grown exponentially over the pastdecade, the technology is not fundamentallynew. Rather it is a re-engineering downto oilfield scale of what researchers havepracticed for decades as “solid earthseismology”. The basic elements areseismic event location, mechanism analysisand travel time tomography.


The first widespread application ofmicroseismic monitoring has been inthe field of hydraulic fracture reservoirstimulation. This is understandable giventhat the process of frac’ing creates a largenumber of relatively “detectable” events. Early applications limited themselves tothe determination of the location of themicroseismic events in time and space. These locations serve as a proxy for wherethe reservoir has been frac’ed, allowingthe completion engineer to evaluate theeffectiveness of his frac design.


Since each microseismic event representsthe failure or movement of the reservoir rockalong a surface, the events have a signalradiation pattern which is characteristicof that failure mechanism. By capturingan appropriate sample of the signal weare able to invert for the parameters of the failure mechanism, estimating the strike, dip, rake and magnitude of thefailure event. Under certain assumptionsof permeability, these attributes can beturned in to a discrete fracture model ofthe frac’ed reservoir which in turn can beupscaled to a reservoir permeability modelsuited for reservoir production simulation. History matching allowsfor observed rates of production to feedback into the modeling in order to refineparameters for future simulation runs. In thisway microseismic monitoring plays a keyrole in the management of the reservoir thatextends well beyond the design of the bestcompletion procedures.