States to investigate whether injection wells induce seismic events

State oil and gas regulators and geologic surveys are forming a working group with the Interstate Oil & Gas Conservation Commission and Groundwater Protection Council to examine whether a relationship exists between injection wells and seismic events in several states, IOGCC said on Apr. 29.

It said the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are nearly 150,000 Class II Underground Injection Control (UIC) wells across the country the oil and gas industry uses to dispose of produced water or enhance resource recovery.

State agencies participating in the Induced Seismicity by Injection Work Group will collaborate and share science, research, and practical experience to equip the states with the best decision making tools to evaluate the possible connections between seismic events and injection wells, minimize risk, and enhance appropriate readiness when seismic events occur, according to IOGCC.

Participating states aim to include additional stakeholders as they discuss that issue, including industry, environmental groups, and the scientific community, the Oklahoma City-based association of state oil and gas regulators said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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