A distinct relationship exists between the production of natural gas and small earthquakes near the reservoir. Simple models show that the sensitivity for fault activation due to differential compaction evidently depends on the fault-reservoir geometry. A very sensitive geometry, leading to several small earthquakes, is found in the Eleveld gasfield. The observed magnitudes correlate well with estimates from a more complex model. In this specific geological setting residual tectonic stresses are assumed to be negligible. For the coming decades, pressure depletion is expected to amount to only a fraction of the pressure depletion up to now. Therefore the potential magnitudes of possible future earthquakes in this area are expected to become only marginally higher.

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