Seldon declaims on the issue of earthquakes and fracking
When I read recently so many stupid claims of fracking causing earthquakes, I could not resist asking my favorite FAVORIIIITE PETROLEUM ENGINEER, Seldon Graham, to comment.
Seldon was doing frackin when the frackin wasn’t even on the radar.
Back in the 50s.
I can’t tell you how much I respect Sel, WW II soldier, field promoted to officer, West Point, Korea, petrol engineer, attorney.
So might I put up his brief but insightful discussion?
For the leftist Denton newspaper– you might ask leftist? But every newspaper must be assumed to be leftist, with the isolated exceptions like the Washington Times.
Seismographs Cause Earthquakes
Seismographs cause earthquakes. A scientific study has proven it. The
following are observations from a study entitled “Dallas-Fort Worth earthquakes
coincident with activity associated with natural gas production,” by Cliff Frohlich
and Eric Potter of the University of Texas and Chris Hayward and Brian Stump of
Southern Methodist University (SMU). The study is at: . It could just as well have been
entitled “Dallas-Fort Worth earthquakes coincident with Obama Administration.”
SMU scientists set out six seismographs south of the Dallas-Fort Worth
airport terminal from November 9, 2008 to January 2, 2009. Eleven miniearthquakes
were recorded which had a magnitude too small to be picked up by the
U.S. Geological Service (USGS) National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC).
Thus, these seismographs caused earthquakes which were undetected by the NEIC.
These tiny earthquakes should be called earth quivers instead of quakes.
They were at a mean depth of 4.8 kilometers. (Don’t these scientists know that oil
and gas terminology uses the American measurement of feet?) This mean depth is
at 15,748 feet below the surface of the earth.
The suspected villain was a nearby salt water disposal (SWD) well and was
not the 54 gas wells that had been fractured, as shown on Figure 8. This is
important to remember. There was no indication that fracturing of natural gas
wells had anything to do with earthquakes. The SWD well was injecting salt water
from 10,752 feet to 13,729 feet, more than two thousand feet shallower than the
mean depth of the eleven earthquivers. There is no theory given as to how this
separation of rock was overcome in order to cause an earth quiver.
Strangely, according to Figure 2, the eleven earthquivers were along the
county line rather than along a nearby fault line of unstated depth. Was Dallas
County rubbing against Tarrant County? The authors did not try to explain this
Even the “sonic booms” of October 31, 2008 and May 16, 2009 which
caused this earthquake study were not over 3.3 magnitude on the Richter scale. An
earthquake up to 3.9 magnitude very rarely causes damage.
The authors state at the end of the study, “There are thousands of injection
wells in Texas, the vast majority of which [emphasis added] produce no felt or
instrumentally recorded seismicity.” Absent data that there is a single incident of
an injection well producing felt or recorded seismicity, that statement is deceptive
and misleading. Injection wells do not produce earthquakes, not even earthquivers.
Seldon B. Graham, Jr.
Legion of Honor Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers
4713 Palisade Drive
Austin, Texas 78731-4516