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A Review of Current Practices and the Future for Deep Well Injection in the Upper Miocene Stevens Sand, Kern County, California


Waste-water disposal is a major concern of the petroleum business, especially because of complications associated with many produced-water surface-impoundment percolation facilities. In the San Joaquin Valley, California, the current environmental regulations protecting the potentially useable groundwaters are stringent.

The Stevens has significant potential as a disposal zone that may offer considerable capacity when the project is designed using proper geologic and engineering studies. The Stevens sands are well known for their oil-producing capabilities, however, not much has been published regarding its suitability as a zone for deep well injection. Conditions that make the Stevens potentially suitable include (1) adequate confinement providing geologic separation from the groundwater sources in the basin, (2) storage capacity, and (3) large areal extent.

Because the search for acceptable disposal options is becoming critical, the current class II disposal activities in the Stevens sands were reviewed and the areas offering the greatest future potential were identified. We then discuss class II disposal projects in Stevens sands in the West Bellevue and Midway Sunset oil fields and estimate the ultimate basin-wide disposal capacity of the Stevens.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91009©1991 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-SPWLA Pacific Section Annual Meeting, Bakersfield, California, March 6-8, 1991 (2009)