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Spatiotemporal changes in seismic velocity associated with hydraulic fracturing-induced earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada
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  • Adebayo Ojo,
  • Honn Kao,
  • Ryan Visser,
  • Chet Goerzen
Adebayo Ojo
Natural Resources Canada

Corresponding Author:ojo.adebayo.oluwaseun@gmail.com

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Honn Kao
Natural Resources Canada
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Ryan Visser
Natural Resources Canada, Geoscience BC
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Chet Goerzen
University of Victoria
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To characterize the subsurface geomechanical response to hydraulic fracturing activities, we study the spatiotemporal changes of seismic velocity during the completion of four injection wells in the Fox Creek area, Alberta, Canada. We estimate temporal velocity changes (dv/v) from ambient seismic noise recorded during the Tony Creek Dual Microseismic Experiment (ToC2ME) by comparing a 5-day stacked noise correlation function with a reference noise correlation function stacked over the deployment period. In the frequency band (0.1 - 0.4 Hz) most sensitive to the injection depths (~3.4 km), we observe daily dv/v that revealed alternating gradual velocity decreases and increases with magnitudes in the range of ±0.9%. We found a strong temporal correlation between the onset of velocity decreases and periods of intense seismicity, suggesting that the observed dv/v reductions are likely caused by stress-induced subsurface deformation due to elevated pore pressures, increased crack density, and ground shaking. A period of dv/v increase observed between the beginning and end of different well stimulation is attributed to crustal healing. Comparing the dv/v time series with injection parameters, we observed a 272.66% increase in induced seismicity and 50% more reduction in dv/v during the second injection phase that are correlated with 90.53%, 169.64%, and 4.34% increase in the injection volume, rate, and pressure, respectively. Our study provides valuable new information on the changes in reservoir elastic properties within the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. It also demonstrates that coda wave interferometry using data from dense seismic arrays near injection sites can be an additional tool for monitoring hydraulic fracturing operations.
Jan 2022Published in Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering volume 208 on pages 109390. 10.1016/j.petrol.2021.109390