A recent Richter Magnitude 3.4 earthquake (OGS magnitude) was felt and caused the shut-in of a well being completed in Oklahoma. This closure and the logic for monitoring was discussed in a recent article in “The Oklahoman”. The closure of a well highlights the benefit of close-in Seismic Monitoring and use of a Traffic Light Protocol in the SCOOP/STACK formation. Monitoring provides the ability to warn of impending increases in seismic activity that can sometimes foreshadow larger sequences. Many operators work with ISTI to provide tight monitoring of wells that are in areas of concern to larger seismic events in Oklahoma as an insurance against shut-in.
A recent Bloomberg news article on increasing earthquakes in the Oklahoma SCOOP/STACK play is stating that regulators and the Oil and Gas industry are starting to turn their attention to monitoring hydraulic fracture induced earthquakes that are reportedly being felt in this region. While the predominant cause of induced earthquakes in Oklahoma have been tied to injection of produced waste water, hydraulic fracturing related earthquakes has received less attention until now. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which governs oil and gas wells in the state, was anticipating this back at the end of 2016 when they released guidelines that governed seismic concerns in this play. These regulations and the recent uptick in activity in this area suggest that monitoring for induced seismicity, like that done by ISTI, would be of great cost benefit to operators in the area so that they have operational information to head-off potential regulatory action.
Note that a similar news article was published in Bloomberg about hydraulic fracture induced earthquake concerns in Alberta Canada in the town of Fox Creek, where larger felt earthquakes have occurred in recent years.