Abstract: Managing Induced Seismicity in Canbriam’s Altares Field in the Montney Formation, N.E. British Columbia – an Update

The Montney formation in British Columbia and Alberta has gained prominence in recent years due to the exploration and production boom which has yielded more than 3.5 bcf/d in production output and in excess of 440 TCF of reserves. It is one of the largest unconventional plays in North America, covering 130,000 km2 with 5600 wells drilled to date. Figure 1 illustrates the Montney reservoir trend and Canbriam’s position in Altares in N.E. British Columbia. Canbriam is a private company currently with 40,000 boe/d producing capacity and a deep inventory of over-pressured, liquids-rich locations with stable, low-decline.The map also highlights some of Canbriam’s seismometer and accelerometer arrays in North Altares.

Fig. 01

The key to understanding induced seismicity is a thorough understanding of the subsurface. This article describes the multidisciplinary integration at Canbriam which has lead to the creation of an Altares-specific induced seismicity traffic light protocol based on both the seismic event’s magnitude and ground motion recording. The work integrates the subsurface reservoir characterization, including fault/fracture identification, to assist in prediction of induced seismic events during well completions. Operationally, Canbriam has an RTC or ‘request to complete’ process which includes full integration of subsurface and operations. Decisions in these meetings are relayed to the field to ensure any potential risks such as inter-well communication, casing deformation and induced seismicity are well understood.


John Nieto is Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Canbriam Energy Inc.

John’s vision of technical integration has formed the foundation of Canbriam. He provides guidance on technological developments and ensures that internal technical knowledge, particularly in geology, geophysics, petrophysics and integrated reservoir characterization, remains at the top of the industry. Prior to joining Canbriam John worked at Esprit Energy Trust as Vice President, Exploration. After a 14 year career with Mobil and ExxonMobil, John was coordinator of formation evaluation for ExxonMobil globally, based in Houston. He then worked with Anadarko for 5 years, culminating in the position of Reservoir Characterization Manager in Houston.

He has more than 35 years of experience. John holds a B.Sc. degree (Dual Hons Geology) from London University and a D.M.T. from Camborne School of Mines (Geology).

John serves on the Board of Directors of Huron Resources Corp and is also on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society of Unconventional Resources.

Brad Bialowas joined Canbriam Energy in 2012 after graduating from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geophysics.

He is a registered professional Geophysicist with APEGA.

As part of the subsurface team, Brad contributes to daily drilling and completions operations as well as seismicity monitoring in Canbriam’s Altares Montney acreage.

Brad has been integral in the ongoing management of Canbriam’s induced seismicity monitoring initiative, including downhole microseismic, passive fracture imaging and regional induced seismicity monitoring.

Bogdan Batlai is a senior geoscientist with Canbriam Energy, having as the main focus of activity Geomechanics, Petrophysical Modeling, Seismic Inversion, and application and integration of this data with completions and reservoir simulation.

Bogdan holds a BSc in Geophysics from the University of Bucharest and began his career as a wireline logging engineer before joining ROMGAZ (Romanian Gas Company) as a seismic interpreter.

Upon moving to Canada he worked for Computalog and subsequently for Hampson-Russell, a CGG company, as software support and reservoir geophysicist until joining Canbriam Energy in 2012.

Bogdan has co-authored several publications on seismic reservoir characterization.

Graham Janega is Canbriam’s Vice President, Subsurface. Graham joined Canbriam in 2013 as a drilling and completions engineer responsible for completions design and the optimization of over-pressured Montney wells. He was promoted to the position of Completions Manager in March of 2015 and was appointed Vice President, Subsurface in January of 2017.

Graham’s career includes tenure at Pengrowth Energy Trust where he was employed as a production engineer in the Olds and Judy Creek business units, primarily focused on the production optimization of both oil and gas wells. Graham was involved in Pengrowth’s development of the Garrington Cardium and Judy Creek Beaverhill Lake oil development plays. Prior to Pengrowth Graham worked as a reservoir engineer in the Central Alberta business unit at Shell Canada, where he was involved in the development of critical sour gas fields in the Alberta foothills, including the company’s Panther River project.

Graham holds Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Calgary.


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