Brine Disposal Well Network Evaluation

The proper disposal of oil field bines and flowback water can be a difficult issue to tackle for those developing shale oil and gas reserves in the Appalachian Basin. Ohio, however, offers some unique opportunities – a network of nearly 250 Class II injection wells, many of which have been in use for decades. The quantity of oil filed brines and flowback water injected in Ohio’s Class II injection well network has rapidly increased over recent years as the Appalachian Basin shale oil and gas play developed. Many of the older are wells are nearing their end-of-life. As a result, disposal companies are investigating opportunities to site new wells.

Cox-Colvin was retained by a disposal company to evaluate Ohio’s Class II injection well network with the specific goal of locating potential drilling targets and formations that would be optimally positioned to accept brines and flowback water from western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. To accomplish this task, a custom GIS/Database application was developed to house the injection well network data obtained from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Potential injection sites were identified based on a number of variables, including: characteristics of the accepting geologic formations, potential injection pressures and rates, shale oil and gas exploration trends, drilling depths, access to major transportation corridors, competing commercial locations, and available properties. The evaluation was presented in the form of a report and planning maps. The database application provides an efficient means of accessing and evaluating detailed disposal well characteristics (location, formation, ownership, status, etc.) and the injection histories (volume and tubing pressure) for all of the wells within Ohio’s network.

Outcome and Benefits

  • Provided a concise evaluation of Ohio’s Class II Injection Well Network
  • Provided specific locations, formation targets, and target depths for future Class II Injection well sites