On February 27, 2018, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) announced new seismic monitoring requirements for minimizing felt induced seismicity from hydraulic fracturing operations in the SCOOP/STACK play. The new requirements state that operators must have access to a seismic monitoring array. They must take action at magnitue 2.0 (Richter scale) and pause for 6 hours at magnitude 2.5. This is a 0.5 reduction in magnitude levels from previous regulations.
News articles in Oil Price, Reuters, and Bloomberg News and in local Oklahoma media outlets KFOR, Tulsa World, and The Oklahoman are already reporting that operators are taking the new regulations seriously and are installing private networks like those installed and operated by ISTI and it’s partners (HMSC, Inc and GEObit). ISTI can help operators in this region with our real-time monitoring networks for the duration of their completions or for an entire field-wide view using our Rapid Notification Service (RNS) product. ISTI’s Oklahoma and Kansas subscription based RNS provides operators with the information to act before regulators react to any events that may be caused by their completion operations. An example is a recent 2.1 magnitude earthquake; subscribers were notified within 2 minutes after it occurred (see event map with locating stations below). As a result of the rapid information, nearby operators could modify their well treatment plans for the next stages and attempt to mitigate further larger events.
The cost of being shut-down temporarily for any nuisance earthquakes can be quite high for operators. Rapid information provided by ISTI’s service can allow operators to take action before being required to pause or curtail operations. While the hazard of earthquakes induced by hydraulic fracturing is low, there is still the potential for it to trigger larger felt earthquakes as has been observed in Canada. Operators, on the other hand, can mitigate impact to their businesses by taking proper precautions.