News from the EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study

Published
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Peer-reviewed research from the ongoing EPA hydraulic fracturing study is available, well ahead of the final report that is expected at the end of 2014.

The peer reviewed papers are available here. Future papers will be posted as they become available.

An example of interest to geologists is: “Modeling of Fault Reactivation and Induced Seismicity During Hydraulic Fracturing of Shale-Gas Reservoirs” by Jonny Rutqvist, Antonio P. Rinaldi, Frédéric Cappa, and George J. Moridis, who report that simulations indicate that hydraulic fracturing may give rise to slightly larger microseismic events when faults are present than without faults present. However, the possibility of induced fractures at great depth (thousands of meters) causing activation of faults and creation of a new flow path that can reach shallow ground water resources is remote.

EPA has also announced that it has reconvened the hydraulic fracturing study’s Technical Roundtable. On December 9 subject-matter experts discussed the outcomes of the 2013 Technical Workshops, stakeholder engagement, and plans for the draft report. The roundtable meeting materials are available here. In January EPA plans to announce the date of the public webinar where participants can learn what was discussed.

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