North American shale-gas recovery efforts are quite large, while the extent of such unconventional gas reserves in Europe is largely unknown. Some tests of gas shale formations have recently been carried out with good success in various basins (e.g., Germany’s Lower Saxony, Vienna Basin, southern Sweden, etc.) The development of Europe’s gas resources will take years and may benefit from lessons learned in North America. Firstly production from unconventional shale formations (e.g., Barnett, Fayetteville, Marcellus, Woodford, etc.) has been enabled by modern well log evaluation techniques and completion methods. These are particularly important since stress anisotropy strongly influences fracture system development. Secondly, it is critical to monitor the initiation and evolution of hydraulically-induced fracture systems. Currently almost all predictive models used by reservoir and production engineers to estimate recovery in stimulated wells are based on assumptions that naturally lead to oversimplified fracture geometry. Microseismic monitoring enables reservoir engineers and geoscientists to understand the development of hydraulically-induced fracture systems as well as naturally pre-existing fracture networks in four dimensions.


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