Jump to content

Man-made earthquake risk and Fracking:


beecee
 Share

Recommended Posts

https://phys.org/news/2018-02-man-made-earthquake-fracking-895m-faults.html

Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults

February 27, 2018, Durham University


The risk of man-made earthquakes due to fracking is greatly reduced if high-pressure fluid injection used to crack underground rocks is 895m away from faults in the Earth's crust, according to new research.

The recommendation, from the ReFINE (Researching Fracking) consortium, is based on published microseismic data from 109 fracking operations carried out predominantly in the USA.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-man-made-earthquake-fracking-895m-faults.html#jCp

 

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

THE PAPER:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40948-018-0081-y

 

Abstract:

Induced earthquakes and shallow groundwater contamination are two environmental concerns associated with the interaction between hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations and geological faults. To reduce the risks of fault reactivation and faults acting as fluid conduits to groundwater resources, fluid injection needs to be carried out at sufficient distances away from faults. Westwood et al. (Geomechanics and geophysics for geo-energy and geo-resources, pp 1–13, 2017) suggest a maximum horizontal respect distance of 433 m to faults using numerical modelling, but its usefulness is limited by the model parameters. An alternative approach is to use microseismic data to infer the extent of fracture propagation and stress changes. Using published microseismic data from 109 fracking operations and analysis of variance, we find that the empirical risk of detecting microseismicity in shale beyond a horizontal distance of 433 m is 32% and beyond 895 m is 1%. The extent of fracture propagation and stress changes is likely a result of operational parameters, borehole orientation, local geological factors, and the regional stress state. We suggest a horizontal respect distance of 895 m between horizontal boreholes orientated perpendicular to the maximum horizontal stress direction and faults optimally orientated for failure under the regional stress state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

!

Moderator Note

I have just hidden a post in this thread, as it attempted to pull drama from other threads into this one. Please note: if you aren't going to make an intellectual or at least a substantive contribution to a thread, or your motives are purely to reignite arguments and hostility from other threads (which were closed for that very reason), I will be removing your posts. It would be greatly appreciated if people could leave the negativity at the door, and work on making positive contributions to SFN instead. 

 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is an associated article......

https://phys.org/news/2017-12-fracking-earthquakesweighing-dangers-south-africa.html

Fracking and earthquakes—weighing up the dangers in South Africa

December 20, 2017 by Andrzej Kijko And Surina Esterhuyse, The Conversation, The Conversation

The South African government is looking into fracking to reduce the country's huge reliance on coal for energy. Fracking involves pumping high pressured fluids into rock formations to release reserves of oil and gas.

 

Estimates for gas deposits in the main Karoo region of South Africa range widely. A few studies have been done for government on the potential for shale gas in the country. These include a report on the technical readiness for a shale gas industry, a strategic environmental assessment on shale gas and a multi-authored academic book on hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo. Government must now integrate this information into policy and develop regulations for the fracking industry.

Environmental groups and landowners are concerned about the negative environmental and the social impact of fracking. They say that it could have an impact on water quality and quantity, and could also cause habitat fragmentation and loss. They are also worried about possible increased seismicity associated with deep well waste water injection and fracking operations.



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-12-fracking-earthquakesweighing-dangers-south-africa.html#jCp

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

In my country while fracking is being undertaken, it has also been banned in certain ecological areas.....

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-27/fracking-ban-in-nt-should-stay-say-leading-climate-scientists/9486380


Fracking ban in the Northern Territory should stay, group of leading climate scientists says

Thirty-one of Australia's leading climate scientists and doctors have written an open letter to the Northern Territory Government calling on it to not permit the opening up of new gas fields through hydraulic fracturing.

 

more at link....

Edited by beecee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

The UK prime minister, Liz Truss has announced an end to the ban on Fracking in the UK.   I would be very interested in being able to separate fact from fiction on this topic.

I understand the basic principle which is to pump water in to underground reserves of natural gas in order to force these to the surface.    The explosives are needed to open up the rocks that hold the reserves of gas.

I goes without saying the usual social media channels will be full of all sorts of 'opinions' as to this causing earthquakes (which as far as I understand will be very low in magnitude anyway) and a host of other theories to help their objection argument.

Hence any links to actual papers or research and factual information would be helpful,  as I am hopefully going to be in schools as a Teaching assistant then being able to present some real facts would be great.   But this will be useful anyway.

Thanks

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, paulsutton said:

The UK prime minister, Liz Truss has announced an end to the ban on Fracking in the UK.   I would be very interested in being able to separate fact from fiction on this topic.

I understand the basic principle which is to pump water in to underground reserves of natural gas in order to force these to the surface.    The explosives are needed to open up the rocks that hold the reserves of gas.

I goes without saying the usual social media channels will be full of all sorts of 'opinions' as to this causing earthquakes (which as far as I understand will be very low in magnitude anyway) and a host of other theories to help their objection argument.

Hence any links to actual papers or research and factual information would be helpful,  as I am hopefully going to be in schools as a Teaching assistant then being able to present some real facts would be great.   But this will be useful anyway.

Thanks

Paul

I don't think explosives are used, are they? My understanding is it is done via hydraulic pressure.  

An article in yesterday's Guardian, from a former geologist for Cuadrilla,  expressed the view that rocks in the UK are too heavily faulted for there to be many contiguous reserves, big enough to be economically recoverable. The current boss of Cuadrilla, interviewed today on R4, seemed more sanguine. However his estimate of recoverable reserves seemed to be 10x that of the British Geological Survey. I can't find numbers on this, unfortunately. But it seems there is no consensus on the size of the prize.

What I have found is papers on the BGS report on induced seismicity: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-geological-science-of-shale-gas-fracturing

The other things to bear in mind, apart from induced seismicity, are the long lead time before gas from these new sources can enter the market (>5 years, typically) and the fact that when they do so, they will be priced at the global market price, so they will not make supplies any cheaper, though they can add to security of supply.  

 

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, exchemist said:

The other things to bear in mind, apart from induced seismicity, are the long lead time before gas from these new sources can enter the market (>5 years, typically) and the fact that when they do so, they will be priced at the global market price, so they will not make supplies any cheaper, though they can add to security of supply.  

 

  

So what about existing fields that have been closed down?, is the time taken to get them back up any shorter ?  I know some have apparently concreted over.

>5 years is a long time, 

I guess the government wants to be 'seen' doing something, only from this,  it seems like a sticking plaster over a gunshot wound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, paulsutton said:

So what about existing fields that have been closed down?, is the time taken to get them back up any shorter ?  I know some have apparently concreted over.

>5 years is a long time, 

I guess the government wants to be 'seen' doing something, only from this,  it seems like a sticking plaster over a gunshot wound.

If they want more energy, cheaply and fast, they ought to be erecting wind turbines and encouraging farmers to put solar panels in the fields instead of trying to ban the practice. That could make a difference within 18 months, if they can bypass the planning process for an energy emergency. But they are far right fuckwits, unfortunately. (Rees-Mogg as Energy Minister? Seriously?) 

My understanding is that some abandoned N Sea fields - which would be economic once more at today's stratospheric prices - could be restarted a lot faster than 5 years, but I don't have chapter and verse, I'm afraid.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, exchemist said:

If they want more energy, cheaply and fast, they ought to be erecting wind turbines and encouraging farmers to put solar panels in the fields instead of trying to ban the practice. That could make a difference within 18 months, if they can bypass the planning process for an energy emergency. But they are far right fuckwits, unfortunately. (Rees-Mogg as Energy Minister? Seriously?) 

My understanding is that some abandoned N Sea fields - which would be economic once more at today's stratospheric prices - could be restarted a lot faster than 5 years, but I don't have chapter and verse, I'm afraid.   

Good point, i did comment on twitter that I hope fracking is a short term thing until we get alternatives up and running.   But yes we should put solar panels on a lot of buildings from the start,   and attach to older buildings too,   the new solar tech that has been developed not only seems to make panels more efficient but also more recyclable at end of life. .

Our government are here for short term action,   if we need engineers etc then we need to push engineering from year 7 (first  year of secondary at age 11)  so that we can develop the interest and also the skills for the future,  instead we keep kids at school till 18.

For many school isn't working, so why not let them leave at 14,  and work in engineering (in this case) as apprentices. By the time they are 18,  they will have skills, experience and qualifications that make them useful immediately,  compared to their peers who stay at school.

There are plenty of routes back in to academia later on n life too, 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, exchemist said:

My understanding is that some abandoned N Sea fields - which would be economic once more at today's stratospheric prices - could be restarted a lot faster than 5 years, but I don't have chapter and verse, I'm afraid.   

Much of the major North Sea Gasfield infrastructure was installed in the late seventies and designed for a 25 year lifespan. At a pinch, much will last a decade or so longer, but particularly in a marine environment, corrosion will eventually take its toll. So if a 30+ year old facility is decommissioned, there's no point in mothballing it for possible future reuse. It's far more economic to just make it safe and let it rot. 

In practice, reopening an abandoned field requires a pretty well total infrastructure rebuild. 

Edited by sethoflagos
small clarification
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, paulsutton said:

Good point, i did comment on twitter that I hope fracking is a short term thing until we get alternatives up and running.   But yes we should put solar panels on a lot of buildings from the start,   and attach to older buildings too,   the new solar tech that has been developed not only seems to make panels more efficient but also more recyclable at end of life. .

Our government are here for short term action,   if we need engineers etc then we need to push engineering from year 7 (first  year of secondary at age 11)  so that we can develop the interest and also the skills for the future,  instead we keep kids at school till 18.

For many school isn't working, so why not let them leave at 14,  and work in engineering (in this case) as apprentices. By the time they are 18,  they will have skills, experience and qualifications that make them useful immediately,  compared to their peers who stay at school.

There are plenty of routes back in to academia later on n life too, 

Yes. The problem is fracking may be sold by our idiotic government as short term, but it isn't at all. The best short term options are renewables.

Regarding education, that's a different topic but I've just listened to an episode on "The Briefing Room" on Radio 4 about Britain's poor economic productivity, which (among other things) laments our rigid education system. This fails to turn out the sort of mid-skilled people one needs to provide the bulk of the workforce in a higher productivity economy, like that of Germany or France. Our record is very poor compared to theirs. We are fixated on A levels, which are extraordinarily narrow (my son chose the IB instead), and on going to university to study more narrow disciplines, often of questionable value. Different governments try different gimmicks, like the apprenticeship scheme, but there is no consistency and so it never takes root and starts to show results.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree,   we need to focus on people who can demonstrate the right attitude such as I want to make a difference in my job rather than I am here for the pay packet at the end of the month.

I am trying to study for a level 2 teaching assistant qualification,  but schools are hardly very good at taking people on and helping them develop their skills or looking at what skills they have and being able to make the most of that person.

From working in a classroom you need to be good with children, you also need common sense, initiative and the ability to problem solve,  not things that can be just taught, you develop these skills as you go or at least seem to. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not familiar with how the fracking bans came about in the UK but it sounds like potential for earthquakes was the putative reason, rather than climate and emissions - but I expect a large part of opposition to it was and is based on the latter and earthquakes used because, for whatever reasons, those concerns were not counted as a legitimate basis under whatever legislation exists for objecting and opposing them. That is, the planning processes in place by neglect or design failed to include emissions as relevant or significant?

Whether it is climate science denial by the new PM or renewable energy denial or genuine belief in "only fossil fuels are good enough" (alarmist fear of going without) or being beholden to or cowed by the fossil fuel industry probably only Liz Truss can say. But probably won't.

Being cowed actually has some legitimate basis; this is an industry that is sending economies into recession, not by the supply shortages or higher production costs but by massive price rises delivering windfall profits. They could cut their prices to mere very good profit levels to save economies but they won't and they appear quite willing to use the sense of crisis to encourage putting climate and clean energy concerns aside.

Whether the high prices will work like a carbon price that incetivises renewables remains to be seen but looks likely to me - it is like they are putting a carbon price on themselves, only one where the revenues flow to the FF industry and they can use it to promote fossil fuel use and dependence. Or else a last ditch attempt to extract profits before renewables growth goes beyond merely slowing fossil fuel growth and results in fossil fuel decline.

Here in Australia we saw a big backlash against the apathy on climate from our major political parties with Greens and Teal independents getting a lot of support. (Our conservatives colour themselves blue, these centre-right leaning candidates campaigned on climate action, thus the blue mixed with green "teal" that may even began as a kind of insult but has been embraced by them.) Can that happen in the UK?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, studiot said:

@MigL

Since we have Pale Rider in our midst, perhaps he would like to ride in and comment ?

Sorry Studiot, commenting would be a conflict of interest.
I make a product that is used to 'sterilize' the water that is used for fracking injection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.