Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - 8

FE ATU RE

01

TEXAS TAKES THE LEAD ON

SEISMICITY

When Texans residing near Fort Worth began
to notice seismic movement deep underground
in late 2013, many asked what could be the
cause. For a location not known to have
earthquakes, it was not immediately obvious
why those living in towns like Azle, Texas,
would be encountering such events.
It quickly became clear that more data and
analysis was needed to properly understand why
the region was experiencing seismic activity.
Committed to finding answers, Texas officials
took action.

Legislators Look for Answers
In early 2014, Texas lawmakers formed a
dedicated subcommittee involving members of
the House Energy Resources Committee, who
worked to explore the issue. The legislative
panel met in Austin several times throughout
2014, holding public hearings and listening to
testimony from the experts at the Bureau of
Economic Geology (BEG), Southern Methodist
University and the Texas Railroad Commission,
as well as took input from industry and
environmental groups. By the year's end,
the subcommittee prepared a final report
providing a strategy on how the legislature
could adopt reasonable, sound policies for the
state moving forward.

State Regulators Pursue
Proactive Measures, Too
While legislators at the state capitol worked
to learn more about seismic events, the
state's chief oil and gas regulatory agency,

8

the Texas Railroad Commission, also engaged
in measures aimed at proactively addressing
the issue. Following a recommendation offered
by the House Energy Resources' Subcommittee
on Seismic Activity, the Railroad Commission
announced in March of 2014 the hire of a
full-time seismologist, Dr.  Craig Pearson.
[Note:  After serving in the role for nearly
three years, Dr. Pearson resigned from the
position in 2017 after becoming director of
the commission's Midland District Office.
This past August, the agency announced
that Dr. Aaron Velasco would take over as
seismologist for the Railroad Commission].
In addition to hiring a full-time seismologist, the
commission adopted amendments to rules for
disposal well operations in areas of historical
or future seismic activity. The regulatory
changes approved in 2014 by the Railroad
Commission require that an operator utilize
the United States Geologic Service database
as a source for historical seismic activity.
Statewide Rules 3.9 and 3.46 were updated
allowing the Railroad Commission to modify,
suspend, or terminate a permit for saltwater or
other oil and gas waste disposal for just cause
after due notice and opportunity for hearing.
The rules also stipulate that operators collect
disposal volumes and pressures as requested
by the commission for submittal, and allows
for the agency to request additional technical
data from an operator as need-be, such as logs
and geologic cross-sections where conditions
exist that may increase the risk that fluids
will not remain confined to the appropriate
injection interval.

UPSTREAM TEXAS F A L L | W I N T E R 2 0 17-2 0 18

The Creation of TexNet
In 2015, with the legislature back in session,
state lawmakers established a new research
and monitoring program called TexNet to
improve the capability of the existing network
and offer transparent access to data and
information to provide a better understanding
of seismic activity in Texas. The TexNet
initiative along with the Center for Integrated
Seismicity Research (CISR) permits researchers
to collaborate and gather information about
subsurface activity through the placement
of additional seismometers across the state.
Ultimately, TexNet has two primary goals: to
monitor, locate and catalog seismic activity
with magnitudes of 2.0 and larger, and to
improve the state's ability to rapidly investigate
ongoing earthquake sequences in Texas.
TIPRO President Ed Longanecker has on
repeated occasions affirmed the association's
strong support of the TexNet Seismic Research
program. "Having accurate data is imperative
to developing the right policies, regulations
and industry best practices," Longanecker
emphasizes. "TIPRO is committed to
supporting continued research, funding and
collaboration on this topic."
During the 84th Texas Legislative Session in 2015,
with the passage of House Bill 2, state officials
authorized initial funding of $4.47 million to
The University of Texas at Austin's (UT) BEG
for the TexNet program, directing the bureau
to develop and manage this new monitoring
system and conduct associated research into
seismicity. Approximately $2.9 million of the



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017

Chairman’s Message
President’s Message
Texas Takes the Lead on Seismicity Research
U.S. Oil and Gas Production and Price Outlook
Special Infographic
Legislative Profile: Texas State Representative Brooks Landgraf
Regulatory Profile: Texas Water Development Board Chairman Bech Bruun
Member Profile: Parsley Energy CEO, Bryan Sheffield
New Members
Advertiser Index
Calendar of Events
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - Intro
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover1
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover2
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - 3
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - 4
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - 5
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - Chairman’s Message
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - President’s Message
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - Texas Takes the Lead on Seismicity Research
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - 9
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - U.S. Oil and Gas Production and Price Outlook
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - 11
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - 12
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - Special Infographic
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - Legislative Profile: Texas State Representative Brooks Landgraf
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - Regulatory Profile: Texas Water Development Board Chairman Bech Bruun
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - Member Profile: Parsley Energy CEO, Bryan Sheffield
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - New Members
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - Calendar of Events
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover3
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIPB0217
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIPB0117
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIPB0216
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIPB0116
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIPB0215
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIPB0115
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIBP0214
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIPB0114
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIPB0213
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/TIPB/TIPB0113
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/TIPB0212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/TIPB0112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/TIPB0211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/TIPB0111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/TIPB0210
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com