Over the past decade, microseismic monitoring has become the most widely used approach to gain an
understanding of in-situ reservoir behaviour during hydraulic fracture stimulations. From early
monitoring performed in the Barnett Shale to current programs in the Horn River and Marcellus
formations, we review the evolution of microseismic monitoring from the viewpoint of data collection
(single versus multi-well array configurations, utilization of long lateral stimulation wells), data analysis
and the incorporation of microseismic parameters to constrain and validate reservoir models.
We conclude with a look at multi-array microseismic results from hydraulic fracture stimulations of
various North American shale plays to illustrate how microseismic analysis has aided in the
understanding of reservoir characteristics and in turn, helped to plan more effective stimulation
programs. We highlight case studies where microseismic monitoring was used to help assess fracture
dimensions, stage spacing and well spacing. In addition, we look at how the use of advanced analysis
techniques such as seismic moment tensor inversion (SMTI) has helped propel the industry forward and
allowed operators to gain a better estimate of the stimulated reservoir volume, the discrete fracture
network and the effective fluid flow by understanding details on individual rupture mechanisms and
how these mechanisms change depending on treatment program, local stresses and local geology.