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Induced Seismicity Potential in

Committee on Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies

Committee on Earth Resources

Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering

Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies



Washington, D.C.

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Committee on Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies Committee on Earth Resources Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C.

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by DE-PI0000010, TO# 10/DE-DT0001995 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recom- mendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-25367-3 - International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-25367-5 - Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www. Front cover: Photo on right-hand side of photo panel is credited to Julie Shemeta; photo used with permission. Background image is courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey (http://earthquake.usgs. gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/poster/2011/20110228.php). Cover design by Michael Dudzik. Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering pro- grams aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the ­National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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COMMITTEE ON INDUCED SEISMICITY POTENTIAL IN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES MURRAY W. HITZMAN, Chair, Colorado School of Mines, Golden DONALD D. CLARKE, Geological Consultant, Long Beach, California EMMANUEL DETOURNAY, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and CSIRO (Earth Science and Resource Engineering), Australia JAMES H. DIETERICH, University of California, Riverside DAVID K. DILLON, David K. Dillon PE, LLC, Centennial, Colorado SIDNEY J. GREEN, University of Utah, Salt Lake City ROBERT M. HABIGER, Spectraseis, Denver, Colorado ROBIN K. MCGUIRE, Lettis Consultants International, Inc., Boulder, Colorado JAMES K. MITCHELL, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg JULIE E. SHEMETA, MEQ Geo, Inc., Highlands Ranch, Colorado JOHN L. (BILL) SMITH, Geothermal Consultant, Santa Rosa, California National Research Council Staff ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Study Director COURTNEY GIBBS, Program Associate JASON R. ORTEGO, Research Associate NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate v

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BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES CORALE L. BRIERLEY (Chair), Brierley Consultancy LLC, Denver, Colorado SUSAN L. CUTTER, University of South Carolina, Columbia WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Columbia EDWARD KAVAZANJIAN, JR, Arizona State University, Tempe ANN S. MAEST, Buka Environmental, Boulder, Colorado DAVID R. MAIDMENT, University of Texas, Austin ROBERT MCMASTER, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis M. MEGHAN MILLER, UNAVCO, Inc., Boulder, Colorado ISABEL P. MONTAÑEZ, University of California, Davis CLAUDIA MORA, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico BRIJ M. MOUDGIL, University of Florida, Gainesville CLAYTON R. NICHOLS, Idaho Operations Office (Retired), Ocean Park, Washington HENRY N. POLLACK, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor DAVID T. SANDWELL, University of California, San Diego PETER M. SHEARER, University of California, San Diego REGINAL SPILLER, Azimuth Investments, LLC, Houston, Texas GENE WHITNEY, Independent Consultant, Washington, D.C. National Research Council Staff ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Director ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer SAMMANTHA L. MAGSINO, Senior Program Officer MARK D. LANGE, Program Officer NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate COURTNEY R. GIBBS, Program Associate ERIC J. EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant CHANDA T. IJAMES, Senior Program Assistant vi

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Preface Since the 1920s we have recognized that pumping fluids into or out of the Earth has the potential to cause seismic events that can be felt. Seismic events in Basel, Switzerland, between 2006 and 2008 were felt by local residents and were related to geothermal energy development. Strings of small seismic events in Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas in the past several years have been related to wastewater disposal associated with oil and gas production. These seismic events have brought the issue of induced (human-caused) seismicity firmly into public view. Ensuring a reliable twenty-first-century energy supply for the United States presents seminal economic, environmental, and social challenges. A variety of conventional and unconventional energy technologies are being developed to meet these challenges, includ- ing new technologies associated with shale gas production and geothermal energy. Energy technologies may also produce wastes. “Wastewater" is often produced during oil and gas drilling and is generally managed either by disposal through pumping the fluids back into the subsurface or by storage, treatment, or reuse. Carbon dioxide may also be generated as a by-product of energy production and may be captured and similarly pumped into the ground for storage. Anticipating public concern about the potential for induced seismicity related to energy ­ development, Senator Bingaman requested that the Department of Energy conduct a study of this issue through the National Research Council. The study was designed to examine the scale, scope, and consequences of seismicity induced during the injection of fluids related to energy production; to identify gaps in knowledge and research needed to advance the understanding of induced seismicity; to identify gaps in induced seismic hazard assess- ment methodologies and the research needed to close those gaps; and to assess options for interim steps toward best practices with regard to energy development and induced seismicity potential. The committee (Appendix A) investigated the history and potential for induced seis- micity associated with geothermal energy development; with oil and gas production, includ- ing enhanced oil recovery and shale gas; and with carbon capture and storage (CCS). The committee examined peer-reviewed literature, documents produced by federal and state agencies, online databases and resources, and information requested from and submitted by external sources. The committee heard from government and industry representatives; from members of the public familiar with the world’s largest geothermal operation at The Gey- sers, California, at a public meeting in Berkeley, California; and from people familiar with shale gas development, enhanced oil recovery, wastewater disposal, and CCS at meetings in vii

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PREFACE Dallas, Texas, and Irvine, California (Appendix B). Meetings were also held in Washington, D.C., and Denver, Colorado, to explore induced seismicity in theory and in practice. During the meeting in Northern California, the committee was able to talk with indi­ viduals from Anderson Springs and Cobb, California, who live with induced seismicity continuously generated by geothermal energy production. Understanding their concerns and the history of how they have worked with individuals from both industry and local government, together with technical experts from the federal government, to deal with their very tangible issue of induced seismicity brought immediacy to the committee’s delibera- tions. This knowledge was invaluable as the committee explored the concept of a protocol system for responding to induced seismicity with some of the individuals who helped devise the proposed protocol system for induced seismicity caused by or likely related to enhanced geothermal energy development. This study took place during a period in which a number of small, felt seismic events occurred that had been caused by or were likely related to fluid injection for energy develop- ment. Because of their recent occurrence, peer-reviewed publications about most of these events were generally not available. However, knowing that these events and information about them would be anticipated in this report, the committee attempted to identify and seek information from as many sources as possible to gain a sense of the common factual points involved in each instance, as well as the remaining, unanswered questions about these cases. Through this process, the committee has engaged scientists and engineers from academia, industry, and government because each has credible and viable information to add to better understanding of induced seismicity. This report describes what we know about the potential for induced seismicity related to energy development. It highlights areas where our knowledge is weak and discusses inherent difficulties in dealing with an issue that does not have a well-defined regulatory “home.” The committee hopes this report will inform both the public and the decision-making process with respect to an important issue that will undoubtedly become more widely recognized as additional induced seismic events occur. As chair, I would like to thank the committee members for their dedication and hard work. The committee commends Dr. Elizabeth Eide, the project study director, for helping to make this an exciting learning experience for us all. The committee also benefited from the dedication and excellence of research associate Jason Ortego and program associate Courtney Gibbs. Murray W. Hitzman, Chair June 2012 viii

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Acknowledgments T In addition to its own expertise, the study committee relied on input from numer- ous external professionals and members of the public with extensive experience in addressing the range of issues related to induced seismicity. These individuals were very generous in sharing their research knowledge from the laboratory and the field, their direct experiences from industry settings and with energy development in the private sector and in government, and their personal experiences in dealing with induced seismic events. We gratefully acknowledge their contributions to help us with this work. In particular, the committee would like to thank the following people: Scott Ausbrooks, Joe Beall, Lisa Block, Jay Braitsch, Mike Bruno, Linda Christian, David Coleman, Tim Conant, Kevin Cunningham, Mark Dellinger, Philip Dellinger, Nancy Dorsey, Ola Eiken, Leo Eisner, Bill Ellsworth, Cheryl Engels, Rob Finley, Cliff Frohlich, Julio Garcia, Domenico Giardini, Jeffrey Gospe, George Guthrie, Craig Hartline, Werner Heigl, Hamilton Hess, Austin Holland, Steve Horton, Ernst Huenges, John Jeffers, Doug Johnson, Don Juckett, Bill Leith, Ernie Majer, Shawn Maxwell, Steve Melzer, Meriel Medrano, Alexander ­Nagelhout, Jay Nathwani, David Oppenheimer, Susan Petty, Bruce Presgrave, Philip Ringrose, Jim Rutledge, Jean Savy, Alexander Schriener, Serge Shapiro, Karl Urbank, Mark Walters, Charlene Wardlow, Norm Warpinski, Stefan Wiemer, Colin Williams, Melinda Wright, Bob Young, and Mark Zoback. The helpful assistance we received with regard to planning and executing the field trip and workshop for the committee’s meeting in Northern California was also very important. We recognize the contributions from Calpine, the Northern California Power Agency, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the communities of Anderson Springs and Cobb, California, for their excellent cooperation and efforts to provide us with access to necessary information and localities that greatly informed the committee’s work. The committee gratefully acknowledges the support of three standing committees under the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources for their guidance and oversight ­ uringd the study process: the Committee on Earth Resources, the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering, and the Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics (Appen­ ix M). This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their d d ­ iverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the ­ ational Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this N independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institu- tion in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The ix

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Jon Ake, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, Maryland Dan Arthur, ALL Consulting, Tulsa, Oklahoma John Bredehoeft, The Hydrodynamics Group, Sausalito, California Brian Clark, Schlumberger Companies, Sugar Land, Texas Peter Malin, University of Auckland, New Zealand W. Allen Marr, Jr., Geocomp Corporation, Acton, Massachusetts Shawn Maxwell, Schlumberger Canada, Calgary J. R. Anthony Pearson, Schlumberger Cambridge Research, United Kingdom Ed Przybylowicz, Eastman Kodak Company (retired), Webster, New York Carlos Santamarina, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia Mark Zoback, Stanford University, Stanford, California Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and sug- gestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by William L. Fisher, The University of Texas at Austin, and R. Stephen Berry, the University of Chicago, Illinois. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. x

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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 SUMMARY 5 1 INDUCED SEISMICITY AND ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES, 23 Introduction to Induced Seismicity and Study Background, 23 Earthquakes and Their Measurement, 27 Energy Technologies and Induced Seismicity, 32 Historical Induced Seismicity Related to Energy Activities, 34 Concluding Remarks, 35 References, 35 2 TYPES AND CAUSES OF INDUCED SEISMICITY 37 Introduction, 37 Factors Affecting Initiation and Magnitude of a Seismic Event, 37 Seismicity Induced by Fluid Injection, 46 Seismicity Induced by Fluid Withdrawal, 51 Summary, 56 References, 57 3 ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES: HOW THEY WORK AND THEIR INDUCED SEISMICITY POTENTIAL 59 Geothermal Energy, 59 Conventional Oil and Gas Production Including Enhanced Oil Recovery, 75 Unconventional Oil and Gas Production Including Shale Reservoirs, 83 Injection Wells Used for the Disposal of Water Associated with Energy Extraction, 88 Carbon Capture and Storage, 94 Discussion, 103 References, 111 xi

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CONTENTS 4 GOVERNMENTAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES RELATED TO UNDERGROUND INJECTION AND INDUCED SEISMICITY 117 Federal Authorities, 118 State Efforts, 129 Existing Regulatory Framework for Fluid Withdrawal, 135 Concluding Remarks, 136 References, 136 5 PATHS FORWARD TO UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING INDUCED SEISMICITY IN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT 139 Hazards and Risks Associated with Induced Seismicity, 139 Quantifying Hazard and Risk, 146 References, 150 6 STEPS TOWARD A “BEST PRACTICES” PROTOCOL 151 The Importance of Considering the Adoption of Best Practices, 151 Existing Induced Seismicity Checklists and Protocols, 152 The Use of a Traffic Light Control System, 157 Mitigating the Effects of Induced Seismicity on Public and Private Facilities, 162 References, 164 7 ADDRESSING INDUCED SEISMICITY: FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, RESEARCH, AND PROPOSED ACTIONS 165 Types and Causes of Induced Seismicity, 166 Energy Technologies: How They Work, 168 Oversight, Monitoring, and Coordination of Underground Injection Activities for Mitigating Induced Seismicity, 174 Hazards and Risk Assessment, 175 Best Practices, 176 APPENDIXES A Committee and Staff Biographies 181 B Meeting Agendas 187 C Observations of Induced Seismicity 195 D Letters between Senator Bingaman and Secretary Chu 207 E Earthquake Size Estimates and Negative Earthquake Magnitudes 211 xii

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Contents F The Failure of the Baldwin Hills Reservoir Dam 217 G Seismic Event Due to Fluid Injection or Withdrawal 219 H Pore Pressure Induced by Fluid Injection 225 I Hydraulic Fracture Microseismic Monitoring 229 J Hydraulic Fracturing in Eola Field, Garvin County, Oklahoma, and Potential Link to Induced Seismicity 233 K Paradox Valley Unit Saltwater Injection Project 239 L Estimated Injected Fluid Volumes 243 M Additional Acknowledgments 247 xiii

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