RELEASE: Historical Analysis of Seismic Events Paints Incomplete Picture

May 17, 2016

Austin – A ‘historical review’ of seismic activity released today does not follow recommendations for seismic evaluation as outlined by the StatesFirst seismicity primer[1] and its conclusions paint an incomplete picture, according to the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA).

“The authors of this analysis ‘removed questions relating to subsurface pressures and geomechanical modeling’ from their evaluations,” said Todd Staples, president of TXOGA.  “Experts agree that to determine the cause of a seismic event, you can’t just look at timing and spacing without also considering underground variables like pressure,” said Staples, citing the StatesFirst primer. “We strongly support continued research of seismicity that is rooted in sound methodology and can be used to inform science-based policy in Texas.”

Regarding ongoing research initiatives, Staples applauded the Texas Legislature for appropriating $4.5 million to create the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program at the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and Governor Abbott for appointing the state’s leading experts to serve as the program’s technical advisory board.


[1] StatesFirst is an initiative of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Ground Water Protection Council. The primer on seismic activity was developed by the StatesFirst Induced Seismicity by Injection Work Group (ISWG), a collaborative effort among state agencies and experts from academia, industry, federal agencies, and environmental organizations. 


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