We investigated the spatial relationships among 18 known seismogenic faults and 1651 wells drilled for gas exploitation in the main hydrocarbon province of northern-central Italy, a unique dataset worldwide. We adopted a GIS approach and a robust statistical technique, and found a significant anticorrelation between the location of productive wells and of the considered seismogenic faults, which are often overlain or encircled by unproductive wells. Our observations suggest that (a) earthquake ruptures encompassing much of the upper crust may cause gas to be lost to the atmosphere over geological time, and that (b) reservoirs underlain by smaller or aseismic faults are more likely to be intact. These findings, which are of inherently global relevance, have crucial implications for future hydrocarbon exploitation, for assessing the seismic-aseismic behaviour of large reverse faults, and for the public acceptance of underground energy and CO2 storage facilities-a pillar of future low carbon energy systems-in tectonically active areas.

Gas fields and large shallow seismogenic reverse faults are anticorrelated

Parolai, S
2022-01-01

Abstract

We investigated the spatial relationships among 18 known seismogenic faults and 1651 wells drilled for gas exploitation in the main hydrocarbon province of northern-central Italy, a unique dataset worldwide. We adopted a GIS approach and a robust statistical technique, and found a significant anticorrelation between the location of productive wells and of the considered seismogenic faults, which are often overlain or encircled by unproductive wells. Our observations suggest that (a) earthquake ruptures encompassing much of the upper crust may cause gas to be lost to the atmosphere over geological time, and that (b) reservoirs underlain by smaller or aseismic faults are more likely to be intact. These findings, which are of inherently global relevance, have crucial implications for future hydrocarbon exploitation, for assessing the seismic-aseismic behaviour of large reverse faults, and for the public acceptance of underground energy and CO2 storage facilities-a pillar of future low carbon energy systems-in tectonically active areas.
2022
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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-05732-8
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3056679
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