Seismicity

Proactively Addressing Seismic Activity in Oklahoma

As one of the most active producers in Oklahoma, Newfield recognizes public concerns about earthquakes, and has taken a proactive approach to induced seismicity. We have partnered with independent research institutions and state regulatory agencies to help identify and address potential causes of induced seismicity. We also are investing in new technologies to conserve and recycle water. Newfield currently operates two salt water disposal (SWD) wells in the Anadarko Basin and two in the Arkoma Basin—all are used to store produced water from our operations. Although one of these SWD wells is located in an area of interest (AOI), identified by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), it does not inject into the Arbuckle, a zone that is known to have a pathway to the basement rock. To view the AOI, visit the OCC website. Seismicity has not been an issue of concern in any of our other areas of operation.

Seismicity

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Commitment to Safety

Newfield follows the current “Risk Reduction Protocols” determined by the OCC:

  • Current SWD well operators must monitor injection rates and pressures daily, and submit information to the OCC.
  • New SWD permits must consider proximity to critically stressed faults and avoid injection into basement rock.
  • If seismic events “of concern” occur within a defined vicinity of an existing SWD, the operator must discuss geological and operational specifics with the OCC.
  • Mechanical integrity tests are required annually for wells injecting more than 20,000 BPD and others as requested by the state.
  • Basement injection is not allowed and Arbuckle-zoned injection has been reduced within identified AOIs.

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Proactive Initiatives

  • Pursuing alternatives to SWD wells, including recycling options.
  • Investing in new, lined surface ponds and pits to store and recycle water for use in completions.
  • Installing a water distribution network to provide both fresh and recycled produced water for completion activities.
  • Implemented new monitoring equipment around four SWD wells in Oklahoma to detect and document seismic activity.
  • Evaluating historical seismic data and geologic formations when designing new injection wells to identify natural faults and avoid potential areas of intersection.
  • Reviewing well records to identify producing wells, non-producing wells and water wells.
  • Working with academia, regulators (the OCC, OGS and USGS) and industry associations to establish new standards for SWD wells.
  • Collaborating with peers on alternative methods to produced water disposal including recycling.

To further minimize risk, we do not, nor do our third party water disposal operators, dispose of waste water in the Arbuckle formation.

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Partner in Research

  • Newfield is a member of the Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity and supports its sound scientific approach and investigation into the causes of induced and triggered seismicity.
  • We have provided data to the OGS, academic institutions and industry associations to help with research efforts.
  • We have helped fund Arbuckle pressure data collection for use by the OCC and OGS.



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