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TitlePerformance assessment of the induced seismicity traffic light protocol for northeastern British Columbia and western Alberta
AuthorKao, H; Visser, R; Smith, B; Venables, S
SourceThe Leading Edge vol. 37, no. 2, 2018 p. 117-126, https://doi.org/10.1190/tle37020117.1
Year2018
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20170299
PublisherSociety of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Alberta
NTS83B; 83C; 83D; 83E; 83F; 83G; 83J; 83K; 83L; 83M; 83N; 83O; 84B; 84C; 84D; 84E; 84F; 84G; 84J; 84K; 84L; 84M; 84N; 84O; 85B; 85C; 85D; 93A; 93B; 93C; 93F; 93G; 93H; 93I; 93J; 93K; 93N; 93O; 93P; 94A; 94B; 94C; 94F; 94G; 94H; 94I; 94J; 94K; 94N; 94O; 94P; 95A; 95B; 95C
AreaFox Creek; Fort St. John; Dawson Creek; Peace River; Fort Nelson
Lat/Long WENS-126.0000 -115.0000 60.5000 52.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; fossil fuels; environmental geology; earthquakes; earthquake magnitudes; seismicity; seismic risk; earthquake risk; petroleum industry; hydrocarbon recovery; hydraulic fracturing; seismographs; induced seismicity; geological hazards; environmental hazards; fluid injection; regulation; protocol; unconventional hydrocarbon resources; shale gas; risk mitigation; forecasting; delayed triggering
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; time series
ProgramShale Gas - induced seismicity, Environmental Geoscience
ProgramecoENERGY Innovation Initiative
ProgramNSERC Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Released2018 02 01
AbstractIn response to the increasing concern of possible seismic risk due to injection operations during development of unconventional hydrocarbon resources, regulators in both British Columbia (BC) and Alberta (AB), Canada, have adopted varying aspects of a traffic light protocol as part of their individual oversight and risk mitigation strategies. In this study, we compare the regional seismicity pattern with the database of injection parameters to assess the performance of the individual induced seismicity traffic light protocols (IS-TLP). The red-light threshold in both BC and AB is set at local magnitude (M(L)) = 4, which appears to be adequate in characterizing the potential seismic risk from induced earthquakes. Since 2014, there were three red-light events each in BC and AB, all related to hydraulic fracturing. In the three AB cases and one BC case, at least one 2 ? M(L) < 4 seismic event, characterized in AB as a yellow-light event, preceded the red-light event, suggesting that an IS-TLP based on escalating magnitude probably is more applicable to AB than BC. The average rate of background seismicity seems to be positively correlated with the rate of seismicity during injection in a qualitative sense. This observation illustrates that detailed knowledge on background seismicity may be a useful reference in forecasting the overall seismic response to injections. In some cases, once the earthquake sequence was induced, events would continue even after the hydraulic fracturing was completed. Therefore, this phenomenon of delayed triggering - i.e., earthquakes occurred after the completion of injection - can be a problem for the effectiveness of the IS-TLP and should be considered carefully. The existing magnitude-based IS-TLP can sometimes cause confusion due to the uncertainty of magnitude calculation. Specific changes can be made to improve the effectiveness of IS-TLP, including incorporation of ground-motion information, standardization of magnitude calculation, and making the IS-TLP more adaptive to local hazard conditions.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
A traffic light protocol (TLP) is a set of prescribed actions in response to increasing levels of hazard or risk (green, yellow, red) based on observable criteria. In Canada, regulators for the development of shale gas and oil have implemented the TLP concept to mitigate the seismic hazard from induced seismicity (IS) that are related to injection operations. In this study, we systematically review all red-light events in BC and AB to discuss the effectiveness of IS-TLP. Our results indicate that the current red-light level at the magnitude of 4 is adequate, and that using an IS-TLP based on escalating magnitude of seismic events is more applicable to AB than BC. We also found that the average rate of background seismicity seems to be positively correlated with the rate of seismicity during injection. This observation illustrates that detailed knowledge on background seismicity may be a useful reference in forecasting the overall seismic response to injections.
GEOSCAN ID306324