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Maximum Magnitude of Seismicity Induced by a Hydraulic Fracturing Stage in a Shale Reservoir: Insights from Numerical Simulations

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Document pages: 18 pages

Abstract: A key unknown limiting assessment of risk posed by inducing anomalous seismicity during hydraulic fracturing is the potential maximum magnitude of an event. To provide insights into the variation in maximum magnitude that can be induced by a hydraulic fracturing stage, worst-case scenarios were simulated in 2D using coupled hydro-geomechanical models. The sensitivity of the magnitude to the hydro-geomechanical properties of the fault and matrix rock were quantitatively compared through parametric analysis. Our base model predicts a maximum event with moment magnitude (Mw) 4.31 and Mw values range from 3.97 to 4.56 for the series of simulations. The highest magnitude is predicted for the model with a longer fault and the lowest magnitude for the model with a smaller Young’s modulus. For our models, the magnitude is most sensitive to changes in the Young’s modulus and length of the fault and least sensitive to changes in the initial reservoir pressure (i.e. pore pressure) and the Poisson’s ratio.

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