Abstract

In the Netherlands, seismicity is induced by the reactivation of faults because of the extraction of gas. The Dutch mining law requires a seismic-risk assessment as part of the license application process. For this purpose, a risk-assessment guideline has been developed over the past decade. The guideline contains three assessment levels. At the first level, a screening occurs to assess the potential of inducing seismicity. On the basis of three key parameters and an analysis of the maximum potential magnitude, each field can be classified for induced-seismicity risk prior to the onset of production. For fields with a low seismicity potential, the existing national monitoring network suffices. At the second level, for fields with medium and high seismicity potential, a qualitative assessment of hazard and risk is required based on a risk-matrix approach. The large Groningen gas field is considered a field with high seismic risk requiring a level 3 assessment. For such fields, a probabilistic seismic-risk assessment and risk-management plan are required. The risk assessment requires special attention because most of the seismic risk is associated with low-probability events that can induce large ground accelerations.

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