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Quake Monitoring Service Protects Fracking Operations


QuakeMonitor is a cost-effective SmartSensor-based system that is easy to deploy and inexpensive to operate for companies looking to avoid potentially expensive complications such as damage to structures and the environment when they tap large reserves of oil and gas from shale formations, according to Weir-Jones and Associates.

The system significantly reduces the potential for frac-induced earthquakes and gives operators the tools to remain compliant with the recent proliferation of protective regulations, while providing information to remediate their operations when required.

QuakeMonitor gives regulators, interested third parties and the public greater piece of mind that frac operations can work within acceptable norms and regulatory requirements.

It’s a stand-alone system designed, developed and implemented by a team of earth scientists and engineers who have worked in the induced seismicity monitoring and regulatory sector in the United States, Canada and overseas for more than 40 years.

In Alberta, where fracking operations are claimed to have caused a significant increase in the number of induced earthquakes, regulations have been introduced that requires frac operators to monitor all seismic activity and to report any local magnitude events greater than 2 and stop operations over 4. Many other jurisdictions – including, Ohio, Australia and Holland – have either banned fracking or introduced new regulations that often contain steep fines should oil and gas producers cause damage or fail to report potentially damaging seismic activities.

The frac monitoring service starts at about $3,000 per month, including the equipment, monitoring and near real-time reporting of all relevant seismic activity. This is a fraction of the cost of current systems, the company said; in addition, installation time and costs are vastly reduced. Setup can be completed in an hour or less, and no special equipment, material or tools are required.

QuakeMonitor is capable of reporting and alerting all seismic activity back to an operator within seconds using the systems onboard processing capabilities, sending out either email or text alerts to an operator and to a pre-set list of employees or relevant third parties.