SciTech Now dives into the world of research with Dr. Alan Morris, geoscientist at San Antonio’s Southwest Research Institute. We had an exclusive inside look into how their 3DStress software offers new capabilities that aid in assessing seismicity risks for various organizations.
This remarkable 3DStress software has been used for over 20 years by nuclear regulators, oil and gas companies, as well as geothermal energy producers, to improve industry production. It’s the new added tool of determining the potential for induced seismicity and man-made earthquakes that has researchers intrigued.
Sought after by the oil and gas industry and geothermal power companies, the 3DStress software offers the capability to estimate the likelihood of man-made earthquakes. It is during reinjection of waste fluids that fluid pressure increases and a previously stable fault can become unstable and slip, thereby creating these man-made, or induced, earthquakes. “If the injection sites are not managed carefully, the induced seismic events can alarm communities, possibly cause damage, and ultimately negatively impact the energy industry. Such negative reactions to the perceived threat in New York State and in Europe have resulted in oil and gas and geothermal projects being shut down” states Dr. Morris. Determining the potential for man-made earthquakes enables companies to work more efficiently at less risk for all parties involved, including neighboring communities as the industry prepares for a higher return to oil and gas prices.
Watch this fascinating episode of SciTech Now on Friday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. on KLRN.