Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thinking to avoid injection earthquakes


Only, it costs about $10 million a pop.
A thorough seismic survey to assess tracts of rock below where oil and gas drilling fluid is disposed of could help detect quake prone areas.
But that would be far more costly than the traditional method of drilling a bore hole, which takes a limited sample of a rock formation but gives no hint of faults lines or plates.
The more expensive method will be a hard sell as long as irrefutable proof of the link between fracking and earthquakes remains elusive.
"If we knew what was in the earth we could perfectly mitigate the risk of earthquakes," said Austin Holland, seismologist at the Oklahoma Geological Survey. "That is something that we don't have enough science to establish yet."

We did that up in the Great Lakes, but the balkanized US geology scene doesn't acknowledge that.  They think that every state is different.  I can draw straight lines and say this is the place to drill if you want earthquakes.  But if they go off the lines, they can't get any significant volumes.  So, as these productive wells close, they will have to go to Texas or other high-volume wells, which are right on the fracture zones.  Might take a few years for the earthquakes, but they will come.  Right now, somebody has drilled a well, and said "Wow, does this take water!"

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