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TitleHydraulic fracturing volume is associated with induced earthquake productivity in the Duvernay play
AuthorSchultz, R; Atkinson, G; Eaton, D W; Gu, Y J; Kao, HORCID logo
SourceScience vol. 359, issue 6373, 2018 p. 304-308,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20170294
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
NTS83K/01; 83K/02; 83K/03; 83K/04; 83K/05; 83K/06; 83K/07; 83K/08; 83K/09; 83K/10; 83K/11; 83K/12
AreaFox Creek; Crooked Lake
Lat/Long WENS-117.9000 -116.3000 54.6042 54.0958
Subjectsgeophysics; fossil fuels; environmental geology; seismicity; earthquakes; earthquake risk; seismic risk; petroleum industry; hydrocarbon recovery; wells; hydraulic fracturing; earthquake magnitudes; formation pressures; Duvernay Play; Swan Hills Formation; Kaybob Duvernay Play; Forecasting
Illustrationslocation maps; time series; histograms; plots; bar graphs
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience Shale Gas - induced seismicity
Released2018 01 19
AbstractA sharp increase in the frequency of earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta, began in December 2013 in response to hydraulic fracturing. Using a hydraulic fracturing database, we explore relationships between injection parameters and seismicity response. We show that induced earthquakes are associated with completions that used larger injection volumes (104 to 105 cubic meters) and that seismic productivity scales linearly with injection volume. Injection pressure and rate have an insignificant association with seismic response. Further findings suggest that geological factors play a prominent role in seismic productivity, as evidenced by spatial correlations. Together, volume and geological factors account for ~96% of the variability in the induced earthquake rate near Fox Creek. This result is quantified by a seismogenic index-modified frequency-magnitude distribution, providing a framework to forecast induced seismicity.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
A sharp increase in the number of earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta began in December 2013. This increase coincided with the increase of the area's hydraulic fracturing operations. In this study, we compared seismic data with injection parameters to determine the relationship between induced earthquakes and injections. We concluded (1) induced earthquakes are associated with completions that used larger injection volumes, (2) the number of earthquakes scales linearly with injection volume, and (3) the local geological setting is an important controlling factor for induced seismicity.

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