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Abstract: Do Oil and Water (Banking) Mix? Minimizing the Risk When Artificially Recharging Groundwater in an Oil Producing Area

PIPES, WILLIAM, Geomatrix Consultants, Fresno, CA; JAMES WALDRON, Chevron USA Production Co., Bakersfield, CA

Water banking using infiltration basins has a number of technical criteria it must meet for it to be a success - available water of sufficient quality, available land with little or no institutional restrictions, clean permeable soils, groundwater at the right depth, and little or no impact to nearby groundwater users. What do you do when all the technical criteria have been satisfied and then discover contaminated soil in the area? Can the environmental impact be managed such that the potential risk is minimized at a reasonable cost and the water banking project allowed to go forward? The answer is a qualified yes, given that the nature and extent of the contaminated soil, changes in groundwater conditions due to water banking activities, and the potential affect on groundwater quality are well understood and contingency measures are in place to address potential water quality impacts should they occur. This paper presents a case study where contaminated soil was discovered within a proposed water banking project area and how the potential risk from the impact was minimized at a reasonable cost and to the satisfaction of the stakeholders.



AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90911©2000 AAPG Pacific Section and Western Region Society of Petroleum Engineers, Long Beach, California