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2. The mitigation of the effects of induced seismicity is in some instances clearly necessary to maintain or to restore public acceptance of the geothermal power generation activities. The early use of a “best practices” protocol and a “traffic light” control system indicates that such measures can provide an effective means to control operations so that the intensity of the induced seismicity is within acceptable levels. Further information on implementation of a protocol and control system is outlined under the final section in this chapter, Best Practices.

GAPS

1. Suitable coupled reservoir fluid flow and geomechanical simulation codes are not currently available to understand the processes underlying the occurrence of seismicity after geothermal wells have been shut in (ceased operation).

2. Field operators currently do not have ready access to downhole temperature and pressure recording instruments capable of making accurate measurements where reservoir conditions reach 750°F.

PROPOSED ACTIONS

1. Adopt and use a matrix-style “best practices” protocol by developers as outlined in Chapter 6: Such a protocol is appropriate to use in those cases where there is a known probability of inducing seismicity at levels that could pose a concern to the public. In those cases where induced seismicity occurs but was previously unanticipated, the developer should consider adopting the protocol procedures needed to complete the project in a manner more satisfactory to the public.

2. Fully disclose and discuss a “traffic light” system in a public forum prior to the start of operations when such a system is to be adopted or imposed. Such disclosure and discussion will ensure that these safeguards are clearly known and understood by all concerned.

Conventional Oil and Gas Development Including Oil and Gas Withdrawal, Secondary Recovery, and Enhanced Oil Recovery

FINDINGS

1. Generally, withdrawal associated with conventional oil and gas recovery has not caused significant seismic events; however, several major earthquakes have been associated with conventional oil and gas withdrawal.



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