Fracking Boom Turns Texas Into Earthquake Capital of the U.S.
Source: Bloomberg.com, April 29, 2022, Sergio Chapa and David Wethe report on seismicity concerns in the Permian Basin
The article includes input from a variety of players. State regulators, environmental organizations, scientists, and independent oil & gas data provider, Sourcenergy.
Here are few unique excerpts from the article:
“Geologists don’t yet understand all the intricacies of fracking-induced tremors. But what they do agree on is that it is the disposal of the wastewater—rather than the hydraulic fracking of the shale rock itself—that usually causes the Earth to move. In West Texas, each barrel of oil that comes out of the ground typically brings four barrels of water with it.”
“The ability of the Permian Basin to produce crude oil in support of the Ukrainian war effort is totally dependent on our ability to manage the water,” says Josh Adler, CEO of Sourcenergy, a Houston-based firm. “We have to find ways to adjust our practices and deal with that.”
“Jim Wright, one of three officials who oversee the Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that regulates the state’s oil industry, is partial to the irrigation option. He says technological improvements have shaved the cost of recycling the water down to levels not far from the cost of simply injecting it into the ground. “That’s a viable solution,” he said in an interview.”
See our “Managing Induced Seismicity” for more information on how to assess and manage seismic risk in oilfield operations.
Check out Sourcewater GeoTM, a Sourcenergy geoscience platform custom-built for saltwater disposal design, optimization, and induced seismicity risk.