Comprehensive assessment of the spatio-temporal occurrence of earthquakes and waste water injection for oil and gas industry Are there sustainable extraction limits in Oklahoma?

Authors: Zhen Hong*, Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK., Hernan Moreno, Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, Yang Hong, School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.
Topics: Energy, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Sustainability Science
Keywords: : Oklahoma seismicity, Wastewater injection, Injection-induced earthquakes, Sustainable oil and gas extraction
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download



Since 2008, seismicity in the central United States has rapidly increased, predominately within regions of high unconventional oil and gas production states such as Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. Seismic swarms, or localized increase of earthquakes within Oklahoma between 2008 to 2013 have appeared, and earthquake magnitudes of 3.0 or greater became more common during the last decade. A growing body of scientific research increasingly connects this upsurge in seismic activity in Oklahoma with the recent oil and gas production, specifically with wastewater injection. Our study shows that there is a strong, positive spatial and temporal correlation between average wastewater injection volume in the previous 12 months and the number of induced earthquakes in a subsequent month. Moreover, there is an observable link between the geographic distribution of wastewater injection wells, their injection volumes and the number and magnitude of earthquakes in a particular sub-region.We also found that the process seems cumulative and could be eventually controlled to reach sustainable extraction of oil and gas to minimize negative regional impacts due to earthquakes number and magnitude.

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