Updated State Guide Addresses Seismicity Induced by Fluid Injection

The State Oil and Gas Regulatory Exchange (Exchange) released today a third edition of its report on induced seismicity, “Potential Induced Seismicity Guide: A Resource of Technical and Regulatory Considerations Associated with Fluid Injection.” In addition to providing updated science surrounding seismicity induced by the injection of fluids in Class II disposal wells, this latest edition expands on the topic to include seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing and Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS).

The report was prepared by a workgroup comprised of representatives of state and provincial oil and gas regulatory agencies, geologic surveys, and subject matter experts from academia, industry, federal agencies, and environmental organizations. It focuses on four main topics:

  • Understanding induced seismicity
  • Assessing potential injection-induced seismicity
  • Risk management and mitigation strategies
  • Considerations for external communication and engagement

In its assessment, the work group noted that the majority of well operations in the United States do not pose a hazard for induced seismicity; however, under some geologic and operational conditions, a limited number of disposal wells and hydraulic fracturing operations have been determined to be responsible for induced earthquakes with felt levels of ground shaking. To evaluate the need for mitigation and management of the risk of induced seismic events, it is important to understand the science.

According to the report, “Management and mitigation of the risks associated with induced seismicity are best considered at the state level, with specific considerations at local or regional levels. A one-size-fits all approach is infeasible, due to significant variability in local geology and surface conditions, including such factors as population, building conditions, infrastructure, critical facilities, and seismic monitoring capabilities.”

The Guide has also added updates to case studies and summaries of how states and provinces are addressing induced seismicity.

To download the Guide, visit www.stateoilandgasregulatoryexchange.com or you can find it on our web site HERE.


Contact Information: Mike Nickolaus, GWPC, Special Projects Director, 682.622.1503 or mnickolaus@gwpc.org.

The State Oil and Gas Regulatory Exchange (Exchange) is a collaborative effort of the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). The Ground Water Protection Council is a national association of state water-protection and underground injection control agencies. The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission is a multi-state government organization with a mission to conserve and maximize domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment.

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