Abstract Monitoring and delineating the spatial distribution of shale fracturing is fundamentally important to shale gas production. Standard monitoring methods, such as time-lapse seismic, cross-well seismic and micro-seismic methods, are expensive, time-consuming, and do not show the changes in the formation with time. The resistivities of hydraulic fracturing fluid and reservoir rocks were measured. The results suggest that the injection fluid and consequently the injected reservoir are characterized by very low resistivity and high chargeability. This allows using of the controlled-source electromagnetic method (CSEM) to monitor shale gas hydraulic fracturing. Based on the geoelectrical model which was proposed according to the well-log and seismic data in the test area the change rule of the reacted electrical field was studied to account for the change of shale resistivity, and then the normalized residual resistivity method for time lapse processing was given. The time-domain electromagnetic method (TDEM) was used to continuously monitor the shale gas fracturing at the Fulin shale gas field in southern China. A high-power transmitter and multi-channel transient electromagnetic receiver array were adopted. 9 h time series of Ex component of 224 sites which were laid out on the surface and over three fracturing stages of a horizontal well at 2800 m depth was recorded. After data processing and calculation of the normalized resistivity residuals, the changes in the Ex signal were determined and a dynamic 3D image of the change in resistivity was constructed. This allows modeling the spatial distribution of the fracturing fluid. The model results suggest that TDEM is promising for monitoring hydraulic fracturing of shale.
The study was supported by NSFC (Grant No. U1562109 and 41774082), the National Major Research Plan (Grant No. 2016YFC0601100 and 2016ZX05004), and the Project of Scientific Research and Technological Development, CNPC (Grant No. 2017D-5006-16).
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