Northeast BC Regional Seismographic Network
Recently, geoscientists have applied their knowledge of rock mechanics and geophysics to develop tight gas reserves through multi-stage, high volume hydraulic fracturing completions of horizontal wells and monitoring these completions with microseismic geophone arrays.
Along with the routine micro-seismicity created by hydraulic fracturing, 250 low magnitude seismic events were triggered by fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing in northeast British Columbia between April 2009 and December 2011. The BC Oil and Gas Commission released a report on these events in August 2012, which noted that over 8000 high volume hydraulic fracturing completions have been performed in all of northeastern BC with no associated seismicity. None of these events caused any injury, property damage or was found to pose any risk to public safety or the environment.
Geoscience BC, the BC Oil and Gas Commission, Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers have partnered to launch a five-year $1 million collaborative geoscience program to study seismicity in northeast British Columbia. Geoscience BC and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (through the Science and Community Environmental Knowledge fund) will equally share the program costs, and the BC Oil and Gas Commission and Natural Resources Canada will provide in-kind technical support.
The program partners will install a state-of-the-art network to collect seismic data in northeast British Columbia. The seismic array network will include six new stations, which will complement two existing Canadian National Seismograph Network stations. Nanometrics Inc. will install the new stations in early 2013. Once the array has been calibrated, real-time seismic data will be provided to researchers for ongoing analysis and interpretation. The state-of-the-art stations will provide the necessary data needed to further understand the relationship between multistage hydraulic fracturing and induced low magnitude events and ultimately aid in the responsible development of unconventional gas resources.