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Weir-Jones Presenting at Dubai Conference on Passive Seismic

VANCOUVER, B.C. (January 23, 2012) – The Weir-Jones Group will share its expertise in fracture monitoring in late January at an international conference in Dubai, United Arab Emerates.

Sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the AAPG-Middle East conference runs from Jan. 28 to 30. Delegates from around the world will examine the use of passive seismic monitoring when the controversial practice of fracking is used to explore and mine reserves of oil and gas.

On Jan. 29, Alireza Taale, business development manager for The Weir-Jones Group, which is based in Vancouver, and Seth Berman of Saudi Aramco, will deliver a session focusing on the use of passive seismic technology to locate and study the growth of fractures when fracking is used to release petroleum, natural gas and other substances for extraction.  The presentation will also explain how passive seismic systems can monitor nearby land and adjacent structures.

Fracking is among several underground exploration activities that induce seismic activity that can damage oil and gas reservoirs, dams, tunnels, aquifers and nearby buildings such as homes, factories, commercial structures and drilling equipment." `With the advent of hydraulic fracturing it has become economically feasible to produce from Unconventional Resource Plays, namely tight gas sands and shale gas,’’ say conference organizers.  "Hence, it is critical to infer the behavior of the stimulation process by microseismic to image the fracture evolution and geometry. The fact that (the) Middle East is destined to witness an upsurge in Unconventional Exploration due to its vast resources, places even more emphasis on the importance of such a workshop."

Terrascience Systems Ltd., a division of The Weir-Jones Group, has installed a large passive Microseismic Monitoring (PMM) technology system in Saudi Arabia to monitor oil and gas reservoirs for Saudi Aramco, which is chairing the Technology Workshop at AAPG-Middle East.  The Weir-Jones technology is also in use in more than 55 other countries where it is helping reduce the cost of oil and gas exploration and lessen the chance of damage to equipment, buildings and other structures.

The session co-presented by Weir-Jones is entitled ``Frac and Reservoir Simulation from Microseismic Data.’’

``We will present methods to characterize the earth’s subsurface with the ultimate goal of locating and monitoring hydraulically induced fractures,” says Taale.  “The presentation summarizes more than forty years experience in the installation and operation of microseismic monitoring systems for geomechanical, oil and gas, and mining industries.

``With the rapid growth of hydraulic fracturing in unconventional reservoirs, the location and growth of induced fractures, both in the reservoir, and in adjacent deposits, becomes a parameter of critical importance,” he says. ``Induced hydraulic fractures may activate natural faults increasing the risk of large scale earthquakes. Furthermore, monitoring the development of fractures minimizes the risk of aquifers and ground water contamination.’’

The inclusion of The Weir-Jones Group at the Dubai conference shows the company and its monitoring expertise are well respected by the world’s oil and gas sector, says Taale.

``Converting unconventional reserves to production platforms requires unconventional methodologies. Terrascience Systems Ltd. has extensive experience in providing specialized hardware, software and processing algorithms for oil and gas producers both in the Middle East and around the globe,’’ he says.

The Weir-Jones PMM has many benefits:  it reliably detects seismic and microseismic events associated with sub-surface fluid injection; separates natural seismicity from induced seismicity;  integrates results with regional seismic networks; monitors the complete lifecycle of a project, rather than for a few days or weeks as is the case with other systems; reduces oil and gas well completion costs; complies with government regulations and environmental acts; defines clearly the extraction zone of gas, oil or other resources in order to maximize the efficiency of resource recovery and is easy to install and operate.