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3 Energy Technologies: How They Work and Their Induced Seismicity Potential
Pages 59-116

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From page 59...
... This chapter reviews the potential for induced seismicity related to geothermal ­ nergy e production, conventional oil and gas development (including enhanced oil recovery [EOR]
From page 60...
... has published a mean estimate for potential EGS development on private and accessible public land at The Geysers Coso Geothermal Field Heat Flow (mW/m 2 ) 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-74 75-79 80-84 85-89 90-94 95-99 100-149 150+ FIGURE 3.1  The location of the geothermal provinces in the United States.
From page 61...
... Different injection practices can cause induced seismicity through different processes. The nature of and differences among the induced ­ eismicity that s may result from each of the three geothermal resources are summarized here.
From page 62...
... . Early reports of induced seismicity at The Geysers, begun by USGS researchers (­ amilton and Muffler, 1972)
From page 63...
... the geothermal development operations were taking place. As the area of steam field devel­ opment expanded, the areal distribution of seismic events similarly expanded, and the number of the events progressively increased (Figure 3.4)
From page 64...
... Map on the left shows injection wells in 1998. The middle map shows the total number of recorded seismic events from the period 1997-1998 with the line of cross section (figure on the right)
From page 65...
... Energy Technologies: How They Work and Their Induced Seismicity Potential BOX 3.1 Geysers Annual Steam Production, Water Injection, and Observed Seismicity, 1965-2010 Figure The history of induced seismicity at The Geysers is shown in three forms. First, the number of ­ ecorded events of M 1.5*
From page 66...
... . The cause and extent of the induced seismicity related to the development of l ­iquid-dominated geothermal resources are different from those in the vapor-dominated resources (Box 3.2)
From page 67...
... However, as described below, the Coso geothermal field began as a strictly liquid-dominated field and has evolved during extended production to become partly vapor dominated. This evolution has resulted in reduction in fluid replacement and has caused the introduction of induced seismic events.
From page 68...
... TABLE 3.1  Liquid-Dominated Geothermal Fields in the United States with Operating Power Plants 68 Area Plant Power Plant Average Average Resource  Field Start Year Power Cycle Used Capacity (MWe) Generation (MWe)
From page 69...
... North Central  Beowawe 1985 Dual flash 16.6 14.6 410 TerraGen   Blue Mountain 2009 Binary 49.5 40 375 Nevada Geo   Dixie Valley 1988 Dual flash 67.2 41.2 400 to 480 TerraGen Power subtotal 435.3 259.8 Utah  Roosevelt 1984 Binary & Flash 37 34 510 Pacific Corp  Thermo 2008 Binary 10.0 6.6 250 to 390 Raser Power subtotal 47 40.6 Idaho   Raft River 2008 Binary 13 8.4 275 to 300 U.S. Geothermal Hawai'i   Big Island  Puna 1993 Combined Cycle 30 na 330 Ormat Alaska   Fairbanks area   Chena Hot Springs 2006 Binary 0.73 0.5 165 Chena Energy Power totals 1414.03 848.6 69
From page 70...
... (b) The produced fluids for binary cycle power plants are first passed through a heat exchanger to heat a secondary liquid, usually an organic fluid such as isopentane, which vaporizes (boils)
From page 71...
... shows clustering relative to the location and depth of the geothermal wells shown in blue. The number of seismic events of magnitude 0.5 and greater is plotted; these events total 10,200.
From page 72...
... INDUCED SEISMICITY POTENTIAL IN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES BOX 3.2 Continued Figure 1  Seismicity recorded at the Coso geothermal field. SOURCE: Kaven et al.
From page 73...
... Energy Technologies: How They Work and Their Induced Seismicity Potential Coso Annual Production, Water Injection, and Seismicity Production and Water Injection (billion lb) Figure 2  Annual production, water injection, and seismicity at the Coso geothermal field.
From page 74...
... . The primary method employed to enhance rock permeability is hydraulic fracturing.
From page 75...
... . s CONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION INCLUDING ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY In a conventional oil or gas reservoir, the reservoir rocks are generally pressurized above hydrostatic pressure due to compaction of sedimentary rocks over geologic time.
From page 76...
... Stimulation of the well to induce fractures for heat exchange with the geothermal source at 5,000 m (~16,400 feet) began on December 2 and was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of small seismic events (Figure 2)
From page 77...
... This was followed by three more events greater than M 3.0. The project, operated by Geopower Basel AG as a partnership of both public and private companies, was immediately suspended and then ultimately abandoned almost 3 years later following further study and risk evaluation after these seismic events.
From page 78...
... These technologies include what are termed secondary and tertiary recovery methods; tertiary recovery is generally also referred to as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) (Shepherd, 2009)
From page 79...
... . Withdrawal of oil or gas from the subsurface can result BOX 3.4 Induced Seismicity Related to Natural Gas Extraction: A Case from Gazli, Uzbekistan The Gazli gas field is located about 500 miles (800 km)
From page 80...
... . This change in pore pressure can cause changes in the state of stress of the surrounding rock mass and of nearby faults, with the potential to result in induced seismic events.
From page 81...
... . Waterflooding at the Rangely Field in Colorado induced seismic events with magnitudes up to M 3.4 (Chapter 2, Box 2.4)
From page 82...
... . Current records from the Railroad Commission of Texas Figure 3.9.eps indi­ ate that more than 9,400 wells are permitted in Texas alone for CO2 injection for c EOR.6 Among the many thousands of wells used for EOR in the United States, the committee did not find any documented instances of felt induced seismicity in the published literature or from experts in the field with whom the committee communicated during the study.
From page 83...
... UNCONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION INCLUDING SHALE RESERVOIRS The permeability of rock in the subsurface varies tremendously (see Figure 2.1)
From page 84...
... . Microseisms generally of M < 0 are induced during a hydraulic fracture treatment, and the locations of these microseisms are used to help understand the location of 84
From page 85...
... In the most recent case, in 2011, hydraulic fracturing for shale gas production was cited as the possible cause of felt induced seismic events, the largest of which was M 2.8 (Holland, 2011; Appendix J)
From page 86...
... . The geometry of hydraulic fractures can be estimated using a special seismic monitoring technique termed microseismic mapping (see Appendix I)
From page 87...
... The research demonstrates that the hydraulic fracturing induced the seismic events. A report by Geosphere Ltd.
From page 88...
... . Felt induced seismicity potentially related to Class II water injection wells has been identified at individual sites in Arkansas (see Chapter 4)
From page 89...
... Source Alabama 5,028,000 285,000 119,004,000 1 Alaska 263,595,000 3,498,000 801,336,000 1 Arizona 43,000 1,000 68,000 1, 2 Arkansas 6,103,000 272,000 166,011,000 2, 3 California 244,000,000 312,000 2,552,194,000 2, 3 Colorado 2,375,000 1,288,000 383,846,000 1,3 Florida 2,078,000 2,000 50,296,000 1 Illinois 3,202,000 No data 136,872,000 1, 5 Indiana 1,727,000 4,000 40,200,000 1, 2 Kansas 36,612,000 371,000 1,244,329,000 1, 2 Kentucky 3,572,000 95,000 24,607,000 1, 3, 6 Louisiana 52,495,000 1,382,000 1,149,643,000 1 Michigan 5,180,000 168,000 114,580,000 1, 3 Mississippi 20,027,000 97,000 330,730,000 1 Missouri 80,000 No data 1,613,000 1 Montana 34,749,000 95,000 182,266,000 1 Nebraska 2,335,000 1,000 49,312,000 1 Nevada 408,000 0 6,785,000 1, 2 New Mexico 59,138,000 1,526,000 665,685,000 1 New York 378,000 55,000 649,000 2 North Dakota 44,543,000 71,000 134,991,000 2, 4 Tennessee 5,422,000 86,000 6,940,000 1, 2 Texas 60,760,000 1,643,000 2,195,180,000 2, 6 Utah 1,537,000 172,000 3,912,000 3 Virginia 1,665,000 12,000 4,186,000 1, 2 West Virginia 350,000 1,000 2,263,000 4, 6 Wyoming 342,087,000 6,878,000 7,376,913,000 3, 4 State Total 1,273,759,000 21,290,000 20,258,560,000 Federal Offshore 467,180,000 2,787,000 587,353,000 1 Tribal Lands 9,513,000 297,000 149,261,000 2, 6 Federal Total 476,693,000 3,084,000 736,614,000 U.S. Total 1,750,452,000 24,374,000 20,995,174,000 NOTE: 1, provided directly to Argonne by state agency; 2, obtained via published report or electronically; 3, obtained via electronic database; 4, obtained from website in form other than a published report or electronic database; 5, obtained from EIA; 6, produced water volumes are estimated from production volumes.
From page 90...
... . To date over 4,600 induced seismic events (M 0.5 to M 4.3)
From page 91...
... deployed a temporary network of six seismographic stations in the DFW area to locate seismic events more precisely. The UT-SMU seismic array ran from November 9, 2008, to January 2, 2009, and located 11 earthquakes that spanned a 1-km-long, north-south trending zone in close proximity to a saltwater disposal (SWD)
From page 92...
... INDUCED SEISMICITY POTENTIAL IN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES BOX 3.7 Continued Trigg #1 well Barnett well, surface Barnett well, bottom hole Seismic activity Saltwater disposal well Figure  Map of the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) airport area showing the location of the saltwater disposal well and the location of the earthquakes.
From page 93...
... Addressing the causes and conditions for these events is useful for understanding induced seismicity potential for future wastewater injection projects. Water injection wells only inject (dispose of )
From page 94...
... . In 2010 approximately 33.5 billion metric tonnes of CO2 (~37 million tons)
From page 95...
... Injection of CO2 for EOR has been used in the oil and gas industry for many decades with no obvious adverse effects (see the section Conventional Oil and Gas Production Including Enhanced Oil Recovery, this chapter) ; CO2 has also been injected in small volumes into saline rock formations in the western United States and Canada since 1989 without negative consequences (NETL, 2012; Price and Smith, 2008)
From page 96...
... An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on CO2 capture and storage suggests that between approximately 97 and 306 million m3 per year (converted from 73 and 183 million metric tonnes) 14 of CO2 could be captured and stored worldwide from coal and a similar amount from natural gas energy plants (Metz et al., 2005)
From page 97...
... In the United States, no commercial CCS technologies are currently deployed, although DOE-supported research is currently exploring the most suitable technologies for CCS through regional partnerships throughout the country.16 One of these regional projects in Illinois has advanced to the stage of conducting a large-scale test to inject 1 million metric tonnes of CO2; DOE defines "large-scale" as 1 million metric tonnes [approximately 1.55 million m3] or more.
From page 98...
... Approximately 1 million metric tonnes (1.1 million tons) of CO2 have been stored per year since operations began -- with the accumulated total CO2 in the formation at the middle of 2012 approximately 13.5 million tonnes (Eiken and Ringrose, personal communication)
From page 99...
... By early 2011, nearly 4 million tons (3.6 million metric tonnes) of CO2 had been injected.
From page 100...
... At In Salah, monitoring data have included time-lapse seismic; pressures, rates, and gas chemistry at the wellhead; cores, logs, and fluid samples from the subsurface; one microseismic well, five shallow aquifer wells, and an appraisal well; satellite surveys to measure surface deformation; and surface measurements to monitor for potential leakage or rock strain. Monitoring from pilot wells at this location has shown detect able microseismic events related to CO2 injection.
From page 101...
... The MGSC in collaboration with Archer Daniels Midland Company, Schlumberger Carbon Services, Trimeric Corporation, and supporting subcontractors has initiated the Illinois Basin-Decatur Project (IBDP) , which has begun the injection of 1 million metric tonnes (~1.1 million tons)
From page 102...
... A network for detecting and reporting microseismic events greater than an established magnitude has been installed. The installed array at the IBDP site detected a M 3.8 event near Elgin, Illinois, in February 2010, more than a year before the first CO2 injection.
From page 103...
... At several sites of seismicity caused by or likely related to energy technologies, calculations based on the measured injection pressure and the measured or the inferred state of stress in 17  Approximately 3,000 million metric tonnes (~3,300 million tons) of CO2 are reported to have been emitted by the United States in 2009 from the combined activities of electricity and heat production, manufacturing and construction, and other industrial processes including petroleum refining, hydrocarbon extraction, coal mining, and other energy-producing industries.
From page 104...
... Hydraulic 35,000 1 2.8 0 Initial Pore pressure fracturing wells total positive; increase for shale gas then production withdraw Hydrocarbon ~6,000 20 sites 6.5 5 Withdrawal Pore pressure withdrawal fields decrease Wastewater ~30,000 8 4.8d 7 Addition Pore pressure disposal wells increase Carbon capture 1 None known None 0 Addition Pore pressure and storage, known increase small scale Carbon capture 0 None None 0 Addition Pore pressure and storage, increase large scale 104
From page 105...
... . Figure 3.15 shows histograms of the maximum magnitudes reported for induced seismicity associated with different energy technologies: geothermal energy, hydrocarbon e ­ xtraction, fluid injection for secondary and tertiary oil and gas recovery, hydraulic fracturing associated with unconventional oil and gas production, and wastewater disposal from any of the energy technologies (injection wells)
From page 106...
... . Finally, felt seismic events caused by hydraulic fracturing are small and rare, with only one incident globally of hydraulic fracturing causing induced seismicity less than M 3 (in Blackpool, England; note the description in Appendix J of the seismic event in Eola, Oklahoma)
From page 107...
... ; and green triangles denote hydraulic fracturing for shale gas production, both of which represent single wells. Not plotted are data from some projects that do not represent maximum magnitude seismic events for that project.
From page 108...
... 3. The data in Figure 3.16 are maximum magnitudes associated with fluid injection or extraction and support the requirement, outlined in Chapter 2 and elsewhere in this chapter, that a certain net volume of fluid has to be injected to cause a seismic event of a certain magnitude (or in a similar sense for net fluid withdrawal)
From page 109...
... Comparatively, the two geothermal cases (The Geysers and the EGS project at Basel) and hydraulic fracturing for shale gas production have negative or low net injection volumes on an annual basis.
From page 110...
... The CCS volume shown assumes 1 million tons (~0.9 million metric tonnes) of CO2 injection per year, similar to the Sleipner field offshore Norway.
From page 111...
... Presentation to the National Research Council Committee on Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies, Dallas, TX, September 14. Boden, T., and T.J.
From page 112...
... Presentation (via teleconference) to the National Research Council Committee on Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies, Irvine, CA, August 18.
From page 113...
... Presentation to the National Research Council Committee on Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies, Dallas, TX, September 14.
From page 114...
... Presentation (via teleconference) to the National Research Council Committee on Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies, Irvine, CA, August 18.
From page 115...
... 2008. Assessment of Moderate- and High Temperature Geothermal Resources of the United States.


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