Study finds no link between quakes and drilling, calls for more research near Bairoil

Drum recorders, like the ones pictured here, draw a seismogram on a piece of paper wrapped around a slowly revolving drum. - Image Source: USGS

Drum recorders, like the ones pictured here, draw a seismogram on a piece of paper wrapped around a slowly revolving drum. – Image Source: USGS

September 22, 2014

Supporting Info: The Lost Soldier and Wertz oil fields are in the Tensleep Sandstone near Baroil Wyoming.  The Tensleep sandstone is of Middle Pennsylvanian to Lower Permian age is composed of eolian and marine sediments deposited throughout central and north-central Wyoming. The Tensleep is one of the major hydrocarbon producers in Wyoming, particularly in the Bighorn basin.

CHEYENNE — A Wyoming State Geological Survey report finds no correlation in Wyoming between earthquakes and wells the petroleum industry and others use to inject substances underground, with one exception: Several small quakes have been occurring in and near a pair of remote oil fields.

More study is needed to determine if injection wells in the Lost Soldier and Wertz oil fields a few miles north of Bairoil, population 106, could have caused any of a dozen small quakes over the past 30 years, Wyoming State Geologist Tom Drean said Monday.

The area is naturally prone to earthquakes, he noted.

“It’s very hard to make that separation: Is it all natural, is it induced and is it some combination thereof?” Drean said.

The report released Monday said the Geological Survey has found no correlation in Wyoming between earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing, the process of pumping water, sand and chemicals into wells to crack open oil- and gas-bearing deposits.

Some geologists, however, theorize injection wells associated with oil and gas drilling are responsible for hundreds of recent, mostly minor quakes in states including Oklahoma and Colorado.

Continue reading article at The Casper Star Tribune

 

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