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The Role of the Petroleum Geologist in Siting and Permitting Brine Disposal Wells for Marcellus Shale Flowback Water

Dale E. Skoff1 and Dan A. Billman2
1Tetra Tech NUS Inc., Pittsburgh, PA 15212, [email protected]
2Billman Geologic Consultants, Inc., Mars, PA 16046, [email protected]

Exploration and production operations for developing the Marcellus Shale for natural gas generate large quantities of flow back and produced water with varying water chemistry. Due to more stringent regulatory requirements the costs of treating flowback and produced water generated from Marcellus Shale natural gas well operations have increased significantly. As a result, brine disposal wells have become an attractive option for managing concentrated flowback/produced water streams.

The presentation will provide an overview of the status of current brine disposal wells in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia and include a discussion of typical formations utilized for brine disposal. An approach for identifying target formations and potential injection locations will be discussed along with procedures for evaluating candidate brine disposal well sites through injection testing. Methods for assessing the potential economic value of converting old oil and gas wells/fields to brine disposal and an overview of brine disposal well permit application procedures will also be presented.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90095©2009 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Evansville, Indiana, September 20-22, 2009