AN EVALUATION OF FRACTURE GROWTH AND GAS/FLUID MIGRATION AS HORIZONTAL MARCELLUS SHALE GAS WELLS ARE HYDRAULICALLY FRACTURED IN GREENE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
Microseismic monitoring using vertical geophone arrays located 10,288 microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing; all events were at least 2,000 ft below producing zones in the overlying Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian gas field, and more than 5,000 ft below drinking water aquifers.
Monitoring for evidence of fluid and gas migration was performed during and after the hydraulic fracturing of six horizontal Marcellus Shale gas wells and included: 1) gas pressure and production histories of three Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian wells; 2) chemical and isotopic analysis of the gas produced from seven Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian wells; 3) chemical and isotopic analysis of water produced from five Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian wells; and 4) monitoring for perfluorocarbon tracers in gas produced from two Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian wells.
Current findings are: 1) no evidence of gas migration from the Marcellus Shale; and 2) no evidence of brine migration from the Marcellus Shale.
Four perfluorocarbon tracers were injected with hydraulic fracturing fluids into 10 stages of a 14-stage, horizontal Marcellus Shale gas well during stimulation. Gas samples collected from two Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian wells that directly overlie the tracer injection well were analyzed for presence of the tracer. No tracer was found in 17 gas samples taken from each of the two wells during the 2-month period after completion of the hydraulic fracturing.
Conclusions of this study are: 1) the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the rock mass did not extend to the Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian gas field; and 2) there has been no detectable migration of gas or aqueous fluids to the Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian gas field during the monitored period after hydraulic fracturing.