Microseismic to Production: Integrating Microseismic Data, Fracture Models, Reservoir Models, and Production Data to Evaluate Well Performance

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics Drilling and Completions Production and Operations


The objective of this course is to provide engineers and geoscientists with an understanding of how microseismic data can be used to improve completion strategies and fracture treatment designs, going beyond simple concepts such as stimulated reservoir volume (SRV). This course begins by providing a firm foundation for the interpretation and application of microseismic images. Building on this foundation, the focus of the course is integrating microseismic data with fracture models, reservoir models, and production data to evaluate well performance. Students will learn the importance of mass balance and fracture mechanics when interpreting and applying microseismic images, and understand the impact of propped and un-propped fracture conductivity on well performance and drainage area. The course will also highlight potential limitations of using fracture length and “system” permeability from rate transient analysis (RTA) for completion optimization. The class will include examples from shale gas and shale oil reservoirs to illustrate the various learnings.

Topics Include:

  • Microseismic interpretation and applications
  • Simple mass balance and fracture mechanics calculations
  • Modeling hydraulic fractures and evaluating well performance in shale reservoirs
  • Effect of hydraulic fracture complexity and heterogeneity on rate transient analysis (RTA)
  • Impact of un-propped hydraulic fractures on well productivity and drainage area
  • Optimizing stage spacing, complex versus planar hydraulic fractures

At the end of this course, participants should be able to understand:

  • How to interpret and apply microseismic images
  • The impact of hydraulic fracture geometry, complexity, and conductivity on stage spacing decisions and well performance
  • Appropriate workflows and models to evaluate stage spacing and drainage area
  • Limitations of using RTA results for completion optimization and well spacing.

Learning Level


Course Length

1 Day

Who Should Attend

Reservoir engineers, production engineers, completion engineers, geologists and geophysicists


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) will be awarded for this 1-day course.

Cancellation Policy

To receive a full refund, all cancellations must be received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Send cancellation requests by email to trainingcourses@spe.org; by fax to +1.866.460.3032 (US) or +1.972.852.9292 (outside US); or mail to SPE Registration, PO Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083.


Craig Cipolla is a senior completions engineering advisor for HESS.  He provides hydraulic fracturing and completions support to HESS business units worldwide. His current focus is the development of unconventional resources. Prior to joining HESS, he was chief engineering advisor for Schlumberger-Hydraulic Fracture Monitoring and Optimization, focusing on the application of microseismic fracture mapping, complex hydraulic fracture models, and reservoir simulation to improve stimulation designs and field development in unconventional reservoirs. 

Before joining Schlumberger in 2009, Cipolla’s most recent positions were VP of stimulation technology for Carbo Ceramics (2008-2009) and VP of engineering for Pinnacle Technologies (1996-2008). He has also held positions with Union Pacific Resources, CER Corporation, and Dresser Titan. Cipolla’s 30+ years of worldwide experience includes the application of microseismic and tilt-meter fracture mapping technologies, the design and evaluation of hydraulic fracturing treatments, reservoir engineering in low permeability and unconventional reservoirs, integrated field studies, stimulation training, and supervising stimulation treatments.

Cipolla has co-authored 70 technical papers and was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on hydraulic fracturing in 2005-2006. He was the recipient of the prestigious SPE International Completions Optimization and Technology Award in 2013.

Cipolla holds undergraduate degrees in engineering and chemistry from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a MS in petroleum engineering from the University of Houston.