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Title: Seismicity induced by simultaneous abrupt changes of injection rate and well pressure in Hutubi Gas Field

Hutubi gas field, the largest gas storage field in China, has been operated on annual injection/extraction cycles since 9 June 2013. Here, we study the seismicity near the gas field from 9 June 2013 to 22 October 2015, a time span that the gas field has experienced three injection periods and two extraction periods, and explore its physical mechanism based on the relationship between seismicity and field operation. We identify 273 events (ML >1) in the region within 10 km of the gas field, with 97% of those occurring in the first two injection periods, 0.4% in the third injection period and 1% in the two extraction periods. Seismicity in the first two injection periods occurs mostly as shallow clusters (focal depth < 2 km) at two locations: with one along the fault that marks the southern boundary of the gas field and the other about 2 km south to the southeastern tip of the gas field with the seismicity distributed along north-south direction. The seismicity does not correlate with total gas injection volume, injection rate or well pressure. It instead occurs 11–17 hours after simultaneous abrupt increases/decreases of gas injection rate and well pressure in the field operation inmore » the first two injection periods when some accumulative injection has reached. Such relationship is consistent with a physical mechanism that the seismicity near Hutubi gas field is induced on pore-pressured faults with a rate- and state-dependent friction law through an abrupt change of stress in elastic and undrained poroelastic responses to simultaneous abrupt changes of injection rate and well pressure. Our study also points to the possibility that induced seismicity may be controllable in some practical field operations.« less
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China). Lab. of Seismology and Physics of Earth's Interior, School of Earth and Space Sciences; Earthquake Agency of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Urumqi (China)
  2. Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China). Lab. of Seismology and Physics of Earth's Interior, School of Earth and Space Sciences
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  4. China Earthquake Networks Center, Beijing (China)
  5. State Univ. of New York, Stony Brook, NY (United States). Dept. of Geosciences
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-29146
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Earth Sciences; Induced seismicity; Hutubi Gas Field; the rate‐ and state‐dependent constitutive law
OSTI Identifier:
1460633