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TitleHow did hydraulic-fracturing operations in the Horn River Basin change seismicity patterns in northeastern British Columbia, Canada?
AuthorFarahbod, A M; Kao, H; Cassidy, J F; Walker, D
SourceThe Leading Edge vol. 34, no. 6, 2015, 1 pages, https://doi.org/10.1190/tle34060658.1
Year2015
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20140522
PublisherThe Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS94O; 94P
AreaHorn River basin
Lat/Long WENS-124.0000 -120.0000 60.0000 59.0000
Subjectsfossil fuels; geophysics; hydraulic fracturing; fracturing; seismicity; oil shales; seismic risk; earthquake risk; seismic surveys; earthquake studies
ProgramShale Gas - seismicity, Environmental Geoscience
AbstractAn increase in regional seismicity has been documented for the Horn River Basin (HRB) since the development of shale gas began in late 2006. In this study, we compile operational parameters of all hydraulic fracturing (HF) treatments in the HRB between November 2006 and December 2011 from completion reports collected by the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission. This database is then compared to regional earthquake catalogues to delineate a quantitative relationship between the observed variation of regional seismicity and local HF operations. Taking the HRB as a whole, our results suggest that the total injected volume is a more significant factor in affecting the pattern of local seismicity than the injection pressure. However, no clear change in background seismicity can be observed when the total monthly injected volume is less than ~20,000 cubic meter (m3). The initial effect of an increased injected volume is an increase in earthquake frequency but not magnitude. Relatively large seismic moment release (>1014 N m) occurred only when the monthly injected volume exceeded ~150,000 m3. Variable time lags, from days to up to 4 months, are observed between intense HF and the occurrence of a significant local earthquake. We speculate that the hydrological properties of the source formations and local geological conditions (such as the distribution, geometry and dimension of pre-existing faults) may also play important roles in the seismogenesis of induced seismicity, in addition to the total volume of injection.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
An increase in regional seismicity has been documented for the Horn River Basin (HRB) since the development of shale gas began in late 2006. In this study, we compile operational parameters of all hydraulic fracturing (HF) treatments in the HRB between November 2006 and December 2011 from completion reports collected by the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission. This database is then compared to regional earthquake catalogues to delineate a quantitative relationship between the observed variation of regional seismicity and local HF operations. Taking the HRB as a whole, our data suggest that the total injected volume is a more significant factor than the injection pressure in causing induced events. The initial effect of an increased injected volume is an increase in earthquake frequency but not magnitude. Relatively large earthquakes occurred only when the monthly injected volume exceeded ~150,000 cubic meter. Hydrological properties and local geological conditions may be important factors in the occurrence of induce earthquakes.
GEOSCAN ID296136