All kinds of technogenic activity during tens and hundreds of years to some extent lead to the transformation of local volumes of near-surface layers of the earth's crust, the formation of a specific space — the geological environment. The object of close attention in this article are arrays of rocks, which are associated with oil and gas fields in the oil and gas bearing Orenburg region. An attempt was made to investigate in detail the causes and consequences of unusual, often unpredictable events, such as the transformation of physical and chemical characteristics of groundwater, the change in the reservoir properties of blocks and layers of sedimentary, magmatic and metamorphic rocks. The changes in hydrogeodynamic and geophysical parameters of rocks that lead to the manifestation of catastrophic events — technogenic earthquakes in the most developed and often densely populated areas with a complex urban and economic infrastructure are considered. The article systematizes information about the history of geological development, the geological structure and tectonic regime of the southeast of the Volga-Urals anteclise within the Orenburg Pre-Ural region. Information is given on the types and degree of man-made loads on geological blocks and structures in connection with the development of oil and gas condensate deposits, the injection of associated formation waters and toxic industrial effluents into deep absorbing layers of carbonate rocks of the Viseisk-Bashkir aquiferous complex. To assess the state of the geological environment, the results of seismic monitoring conducted by the Department of Geoecology of the Orenburg Scientific Center of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in conjunction with the industrial association for gas production "Orenburggazprom" are taken into account. The possibilities of estimating further changes in the geological environment within the region under study are considered, proceeding from the current state of technogenic and geodynamic mutual influence.


Оil and gas fields, geological environment, man-caused load, man-made earthquakes, industrial wastewater, seismic risks, seismic hazard, seismic monitoring.

Issue number: 2
Year: 2019
ISBN: 664.131.1
DOI: 10.25018/0236-1493-2019-02-0-85-96
Authors: Chekushina T. V., Butolin A. P., Shcherba V. A., Vorobiev K. A.

About authors: Chekushina T.V., Candidate of Technical Sciences, Assistant Professor, Leading Researcher, e-mail:, Institute of Problems of Comprehensive Exploitation of Mineral Resources of Russian Academy of Sciences, 111020, Moscow, Russia, Butolin A.P., Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, Assistant Professor, Orenburg State University, Orenburg, Russia, Shcherba V.A. (1), Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, Assistant Professor, Vorobiev K.A. (1), Student, 1) Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Engineering Academy, 117198, Moscow, Russia.


1. Butolin A. P., Shcherba V. A. Geoekologicheskoe sostoyanie i osobennosti zonal'nosti podzemnykh vod v neftegazonosnom Orenburzh'e [Geoecology and specific zonal distribution of groundwater in the oil- and gas-bearing Orenburg Region], Geoekologicheskie problemy sovremennosti: Interuniversity collection of scientific works. Issue. 9. Vladimir, Izd-vo VGU, 2007, pp. 15—25. [In Russ].

2. Butolin A. P., Shcherba V. A. O vozmozhnosti raspoznavaniya priznakov geodinamicheski neustoychivykh tekhnogenno narushennykh blokov geologicheskoy sredy v Orenburgskom Priural'e [Identifiability of geodynamically unstable and anthropogenically disturbed geological blocks in the Orenburg’s Pre-Urals]. 
Geologiya v shkole i v vuze: Geologiya i tsivilizatsiya. Materialy VIII Mezhdunarodnoy konferentsii. Vol. I. Nauki o Zemle, Saint-Petersburg, Izd-vo RGPU im. A.I. Gertsena, 2013, pp. 222—228. [In Russ].

3. Butolin A. P., Shcherba V. A. K voprosu ob otsenke tekhnogennoy seysmicheskoy opasnosti pri osvoenii mestorozhdeniy uglevodorodov [Assessment of induced seismic hazard in hydrocarbon development], Geologiya, geoekologiya, evolyutsionnaya geografiya: Collective monograph. Vol. ХIII. Nesterov E. M., Snytko V. A. (Eds.), Saint-Petersburg, Izd-vo RGPU im. A.I. Gertsena, 2014, pp. 59—65.

4. Vakhnin M. G. Vliyanie sovremennykh tektonicheskikh napryazheniy gryady Chernysheva na neftegazonosnost' lokal'nykh struktur [Influence of modern tectonic stresses of the Chernyshev ridge on oil and gas content of local structures], Tektonofizika i aktual'nye voprosy nauk o Zemle. Materialy dokladov chetvertoy vserossiyskoy konferentsii s mezhdunarodnym uchastiem. 3—8 October 2016, Moscow, Vol. 2], Moscow, IFZ RAN, 2016, pp. 16—20. [In Russ].

5. Geologicheskoe stroenie i neftegazonosnost' Orenburgskoy oblasti [Geological structure and oil-and-gas potential of the Orenburg Region], Orenburg, Orenburgskoe knizhnoe izd-vo, 1977, 272 p.

6. Kashnikov Yu. A., Ashikhmin S. G., Bukin V. G. Deformatsionnye predvestniki tekhnogennykh zemletryaseniy pri razrabotke mestorozhdeniy uglevodorodov [Deformation precursors of induced earthquakes in hydrocarbon development], Zapiski Gornogo instituta. 2010. Vol. 188, pp. 145—152. [In Russ].

7. Nesterenko M. Yu., Nikanorova O. A. Tekhnogennaya seysmicheskaya aktivnost' v rayonakh neftegazodobychi v Yгzhnom Predural'e i ee statisticheskiy analiz [Induced seismic activity in oil and gas production areas in the South Pre-Urals and the statistics analysis], V mire nauchnykh otkrytiy. 2013. no 6.1 (42), pp. 102—117. [In Russ].

8. Nesterenko M. Yu., Nesterenko Yu. M., Sokolov A. G. Geodinamicheskie protsessy v razrabatyvaemykh mestorozhdeniyakh uglevodorodov (na primere Yuzhnogo Predural'ya). Monografiya [Geodynamic processes in hydrocarbon fields under mining (in terms of the South Pre-Urals). Monograph], Ekaterinburg, UrO RAN, 2015, 186 p.

9. Planeta Zemlya. Entsiklopedicheskiy spravochnik. Tektonika i geodinamika. Pod red. L. I. Krasnogo [Planet Earth. Encyclopedic book of reference. Tectonics and geodynamics. Krasny L. I. (Ed.)], Saint-Petersburg], Izd-vo VSEGEI, 2004, 652 p.

10. Samarina V. S., Gaev A. Ya., Nesterenko Yu. M. Tekhnogennaya metamorfizatsiya khimicheskogo sostava prirodnykh vod (na primere ekologo-gidrogeokhimicheskogo kartirovaniya basseyna r. Ural, Orenburgskaya oblast') [Induced metamorphization of chemical composition of groundwater (in terms of the eco-hydro-geochemical mapping of the Ural River basin, Orenburg Region)], Ekaterinburg, Izd-vo UrO RAN, 1999, 444 p.

11. Khain V. E., Lomize M. G. Geotektonika s osnovami geodinamiki [Geotectonics with geodynamics elements], Moscow, Izd-vo KDU, 2005, 560 p.

12. Khain V. E., Ryabukhin A. G., Naymark A. A. Istoriya i metodologiya geologicheskikh nauk [History and methodology of geological sciences], Moscow, Izdatel'skiy tsentr «Akademiya», 2008, 416 p.

13. Adushkin V. V., Kishkina S. B., and Kocharyan G. G. New approach to monitoring induced earthquakes. Journal of Mining Science, Vol. 53, No. 1, 2017. p. 3—14.

14. Choy G. L., Rubinstein J. L., Yeck W. L., McNamara D. E., Mueller C. S., Boyd O. S. A Rare Moderate-Sized (Mw 4.9) Earthquake in Kansas: Rupture Process of the Milan, Kansas, Earthquake of 12 November 2014 and Its Relationship to Fluid Injection, Seismological Research Letters. 2016. Vol. 87. p. 1—9.

15. Christina Nunez. Tremors linked to oil and gas activities were addressed by two key U.S. agencies this week. National Geographic. Published March 29, 2017. New USGS Maps Show Human-Induced Earthquakes.

16. The total number of Americans at high risk from both natural and human-induced earthquakes this year is about 4 million. Mar 03, 2017.

17. Mark D. Petersen Charles S. Mueller Morgan P. Moschetti Susan M. Hoover Allison M. Shumway Daniel E. McNamara Robert A. Williams Andrea L. Llenos William L. Ellsworth Andrew J. Michael Justin L. Rubinstein Arthur F. McGarr Kenneth S. Rukstales. One-Year Seismic-Hazard Forecast for the Central and Eastern United States from Induced and Natural Earthquakes. Seismological Research Letters. 2017. Vol. 88 (3): 772—783.

18. Oil and gas drilling triggers man-made earthquakes in eight States, USGS finds.

Subscribe for our dispatch