Sigma Cubed Inc. (SIGMA³) and FracGeo announced a strategic partnership that will introduce new geomechanical technology to help operators predict and evaluate the geomechanical response of the reservoir to hydraulic stimulation.

Combining elements never before used in the oil & gas industry, this new technology takes into account the propagation and interaction of multiple hydraulic fractures with natural fractures to predict differential stress, strain (good proxy for microseismicity) and frac energy to enable engineered completions and optimized reservoir drainage. The announcement was made during the 2nd Annual Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC).

‘Today, we are advancing the industry’s ability to more efficiently and cost-effectively produce from unconventional reservoirs by bringing to the G&G world the practical and rapid deployment of Geomechanics,’ said Dr. Ahmed Ouenes, CEO of FracGeo. ‘Most of the effective permeability in a shale well is created during hydraulic frac stimulation. The ability to simulate the impact of stimulation on the continuous natural fracture network and predict the microseismic response further enhances the benefits of integrated G&G workflows. Together with SIGMA3, we are building new workflows that will change the way frac stage locations are selected and how microseismic data are interpreted.’

‘We are excited to partner with FracGeo and help our clients add the capabilities of geomechanics to our company’s integrated GeoEngineering workflows,’ said Dr. Alan Cohen, Chief Technology Officer of SIGMA3. ‘Working together, we will deliver solutions that could help evaluate completion methods and reduce the number of sub-optimal frac stages; so, our clients can optimize well performance and accelerate revenue.’

Clients will be able to reduce completion cost and optimize SRV and production by:
· Predicting Differential Stress: Predict high- and low-differential stress zones prior to drilling or fracturing wells, to eliminate poor frac stage performance.
· Predicting Microseismicity: Calculate reservoir strain which simulates microseismicity to explain microseismic event locations (i.e., lack of microseismic dots, dots oriented in an unexpected orientation, etc.) and to evaluate completion methods (i.e. zipper frac vs. sequential stimulation) and well and frac stage spacing.
· Predicting Frac Stage Performance: Simulate frac energy reaching the fracture tip which could correlate with frac stage production to quantify the benefits of engineered completions.

The ability to predict well performance with confidence is critical for successful shale development. An integrated approach that enables real-time frac data and microseismic events to be processed, interpreted and visualized in tandem with the earth models, well geometries, and now new geomechanical properties will help operators understand the outcome of hydraulic fracturing activity.