MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Oil and gas is a big topic in West Texas but how much do we really know about seismic activity below the surface?
The Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA) will have a luncheon Thursday where keynote speaker Dr. Peter Hennings will speak to PBPA members on seismic activity in West Texas. Hennings is the head geologist at the Center for Integrated Seismic Research at the University of Texas.
"Any kind of movement under the ground is important to the oil and gas industry because we are moving under the ground as well," said PBPA Executive Vice President Stephen Robertson. "In operations, faults can cause movements in hydrocarbons under the ground. If you're looking for hydrocarbons in a certain area, but a fault is in that area, it may have shifted the rocks under the surface so you might want to adjust where you're drilling."
TexNet is the system under UT's Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG). The system includes stations across the state that monitor earthquakes.
"If you don't have a station out there, you don't have a background or history of what's going on under the ground," said Robertson.
Two years ago, the state distributed a certain amount of money to the BEG to improve seismic monitoring in the state. TexNet looks at the origins of earthquakes where they say they may have been caused by human activity. On Thursday, Dr. Hennings will be able to answer what that data really says for activity here in West Texas.
"You need someone to understand what those numbers really mean and can put them into the right kind of equations," said Robertson. "That's the great thing about the system and we're really looking forward to find out from Dr. Hennings tomorrow (Thursday) what's it telling us. What should we be looking at? Do we need more stations, do we need less stations? What kind of information are we getting now, what kind of information can we expect?"