Geoscience BC delves into relationship with earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing

MONTNEY, B.C. – A new report from Geoscience BC energy research will help improve models used to predict induc…

MONTNEY, B.C. – A new report from Geoscience BC energy research will help improve models used to predict induced seismicity by using machine learning techniques in the Montney Play region.

This project was one of a series of four research projects that were started back in December 2019 to investigate the ‘why’ and ‘how’ some earthquakes can be caused by hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal during the development of natural gas.

The Development of an Induced Seismicity Susceptibility Framework and Map for NEBC using an Integrated Machine Learning and Mechanistic Validation Approach project’s key finding is that the local geological conditions are of more importance than the operational features when building models to predict induced seismicity.

The project was led by University of British Columbia Professor of Geological Engineering Dr.Erik Eberhardt and combined multiple data sets in machine learning and advanced numerical analysis review. These, together with lab rock data and numerical simulations, model the relationship between natural gas well hydraulic completions, geology, and seismic activity in the Montney Play area.

“Along with other projects in our induced seismicity program, this research is generating ever-improving information to guide regulators and the natural gas sector to help assess risk from hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal operations. The same information is also being shared with communities and Indigenous groups to help to answer their questions,” says Geoscience BC Executive Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer Carlos Salas.

Geoscience released information earlier this week regarding the research for identifying and characterizing wastewater disposal zones in the region.

More information on the project and report can be found on Geoscience BC’s website.

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