Oil and Gas Waste Disposal

As oil and gas are brought to the surface they are quite often mixed with salt water. On a national average, approximately 10 barrels of salt water are produced with every barrel of crude oil. Approved geologic formations receive the produced waters that are reinjected through disposal wells. One of the common forms of liquid waste disposal by the oil and gas industry is through injection into geologic formations that do not contain hydrocarbons. These disposal wells have been used extensively for decades to return salt water associated with oil and gas production to the subsurface.

Statewide Rule 9 governs the disposal of salt water, or other oil and gas waste by injection into a porous formation not productive of oil, gas, or geothermal resources. Matters addressed in the rule include filing of applications (Form W-14); notice and opportunity for hearing; protested application; geological requirements; special equipment requirements (e.g. tubing and packer; and modification, suspension, or termination of permits for one or more of several causes. The rule also outlines instructions regarding records maintenance, monitoring and reporting, testing, and plugging. Further, it outlines penalties to be imposed for noncompliance with the rule. Permit revocation may result as a consequence of noncompliance.