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PE Distinguished Seminar Series: The Effect of O&G Production Related Activities on Induced Seismicity

September 7, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Miska headshotPresented by Dr. Stefan Miska

Co-authored by Lilly Duarte

Oklahoma is at the top of the list for having the most significant hazards from induced seismicity in Central Eastern United States (CEUS). However, this phenomena is relatively recent starting around 2009. Many people, including myself, associate this sudden increase in seismicity with oilfield operations.

USGS seismologist Dr. Susan Hough stated: “In Oklahoma, seismicity rates since 2009 far surpass previously observed rates at any time during the 20th century… Deep injection of waste water, [is] now recognized to potentially induce earthquakes…”.  From observations and numerical modeling, it is suggested that increased pore pressure within faults most strongly influences whether an injection well will induce earthquakes. It is important to understand that these injected fluids do not need to travel the entire distance from the well to a fault, but rather it is the change in fluid pressure that can travel great distances and ultimately affect the fault’s state (Rubinstein, 2015). Physically, when the fluid pressure propagates to the fault, the increase in pore pressure opposes the normal stresses holding the fault closed, resulting in a lower effective stress. The fault is then prone to slip due to the frictional resistance along the fracture surface being decreased by the lower effective normal stresses clamping the fault together.

This seminar is offered with the intention of providing a concise and consolidated source of information pertaining to the current issue of induced seismicity as well as our own conclusions based on the evidence found and our own understanding of poro-elasticity and geomechanics.


Stefan Z. Miska is currently Jonathan Detwiler Endowed Chair Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Tulsa. He has published over 200 technical papers in the area of drilling and completions. His current research interests include drilling mechanics, directional/horizontal drilling, wellbore hydraulics and more recently geo-mechanics.

He obtained his M.S.(1969) and Ph.D.(1973) and Doctor of Sciences (1981) degrees from the University of Mining and Metallurgy in Cracow, Poland.  Over the years, he has taught at his Alma Mater, at the Norwegian Institute of Technology and New Mexico Tech. In 1992 he joined TU as Chair of its P.E. Department. He became Director of Tulsa University Drilling Research Projects (TUDRP) in Jan 1996 and served continually till July 2017. He also has been consulting for a number of oil/service companies and teaching numerous industry courses.

Miska served as Technical Editor for Drilling and Completion and was a member of the Drilling and Completion Advisory Committee. Since 1996 he is a member of API standard committee for drill-string.  He has been the recipient of three SPE international awards: the 2000 Distinguished Petroleum Engineering Faculty Award recognizing his many years in academia and the 2004 Drilling Engineering Award and just very recently an SPE Honorary (2018) Member. Miska is also a member of ASME.


September 7, 2018
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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Marquez Hall
1600 Arapahoe St.
Golden, CO 80401 United States


Room Number
MZ 108