June 26, 2017: Study: Fracing, saltwater disposal have limited seismic impact. From Oil & Gas Journal:
Research from a University of Alberta geophysicist suggests hydraulic fracturing and saltwater disposal have limited impact on seismic events.
A team of researchers led by Mirko Van der Baan found no state- or province-wide correlation between increased hydrocarbon production and seismicity after reviewing 30-50 years of earthquake rates from US states North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Canadian provinces Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.
They also discovered that human-induced seismicity is less likely in areas where fewer natural earthquakes occur. The lone exception was Oklahoma, where seismicity rates have changed dramatically in the last 5 years, with strong correlation to saltwater disposal related to increased hydrocarbon production.They need to study the Groningen. LOL.
Had I not blogged, I doubt I ever would have ever even known about the Groningen. But here it is again, in the WSJ, and another reason why I love to blog.
For decades, the giant Groningen gas field beneath the flat, green farmland in the north of this country counted among the greatest prizes for Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM 0.65% and Royal Dutch Shell RDS.B 0.43% PLC.Again, as usual, the comments are most interesting, though somewhat disappointing considering this is in the WSJ.
Then the earthquakes started.
The exploitation of Groningen—the biggest gas field in Europe—has been causing tremors for over two decades, rattling a bucolic province with no previous history of quakes and exposing two of the world’s biggest energy companies to a criminal probe and rising reconstruction bills.
Amid a public outcry, the Dutch government has imposed increasingly strict limits that have more than halved Groningen’s gas production since 2013. Now, authorities are proposing another 10% cut in hopes of further reducing earthquakes. And a Dutch public prosecutor is preparing to open a criminal investigation into responsibility for the earthquakes.
Groningen was expected to be one of the world’s largest gas producers for decades to come. Last year, it made up almost 10% of both Exxon and Shell’s total gas production globally and its reserves are among the companies’ largest undeveloped resources.