BMP of Oil and Gas Development

INDUCED SEISMICITY

One unintended consequence of wastewater injection is induced seismicity. While most earthquakes are naturally-occurring geologic phenomena, seismicity can be triggered by injection of fluids into the subsurface, increasing the pore pressure in the rock that effectively reduces the natural friction on a fault. In Colorado, examples include induced seismicity from enhanced oil recovery in the Rangely Colorado oil field in the 1960-70s, brine disposal to control Colorado River salinity near Paradox, Colorado in the 1990s, and liquid waste disposal at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in the 1960s. More recent earthquakes have been attributed to wastewater disposal wells in Greeley, Colorado and various other states including Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Introduction to Earthquakes

Introduction to Earthquakes

A deeper look at what happens deep in the earth for induced seismicity to occur.

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Oil and Gas IS

Oil and Gas IS

A small fraction of disposal wells are associated with seismic events in the U.S.

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Other IS

Other IS

Earthquakes induced by geothermal development, mining, reservoirs, and more

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Regulating Underground Injections

Regulating Underground Injection

Federal and State regulations of Class II injection wells

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Seismic Damage and Financial Assurances

Seismic Damage and Financial Assurances

Covering earthquake damage through bonds, insurance and other financial instruments

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IS Litigation

IS Litigation

Recent litigation regarding induced seismicity.

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Funding for the Induced Seismicity webpages has been provided by the National Science Foundation through the CU Collaboratory for Induced Seismicity

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Last substantive additions to IS pages: 9/28/17
Last minor updates: 9/28/17

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