Evaluation of Microseismicity Related to Hydraulic Fracking Operations of Petroleum Reservoirs and Its Possible Environmental Repercussions


Petroleum reservoir operations such as oil and gas production, hydraulic fracturing, and water injection induce considerable stress changes that at some point result in rock failure and emanation of seismic energy. Such seismic energy could be large enough to be felt in the neighborhood of the oil fields, therefore many issues are recently raised regarding its environmental impact. In this research we analyze the magnitudes of microseismicity induced by stimulation of unconventional reservoirs at various basins in the United States and Canada that monitored the microseismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing operations. In addition, the relationship between microseismic magnitude and both depth and injection parameters is examined to delineate the possible framework that controls the system. Generally, microseismicity of typical hydraulic fracturing and injection operations is relatively similar in the majority of basins under investigation and the overall associating seismic energy is not strong enough to be the important factor to jeopardize near surface groundwater resources. Furthermore, these events are less energetic compared to the moderately active tectonic zones through the world and usually do not extend over a long period at considerably deep parts. However, the huge volume of the treatment fluids and improper casing cementing operation seem to be primary sources for contaminating near surface water resources.

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Abdulaziz, A. (2014) Evaluation of Microseismicity Related to Hydraulic Fracking Operations of Petroleum Reservoirs and Its Possible Environmental Repercussions. Open Journal of Earthquake Research, 3, 43-54. doi: 10.4236/ojer.2014.32006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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