Salt Water Disposal Well facilities take both produced and flowback water from O&G wells and inject it into a disposal zone far below the surface.


Saltwater Disposal Well (SWD) facilities are one of the most rapidly expanding “essential services” of the oil field service industry due to the discovery and production of hydrocarbons in shale plays.  These shale plays require massive amounts of water to complete the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process on the wells. The flowback water must be disposed of once it returns to the surface. In addition, oil and gas wells typically generate significant and increasing amounts of water (produced water) during their production life, which provides a long-term source of revenue potential.

Be sure to watch our video to learn more about the saltwater disposal industry.

A single large horizontal well can generate in excess of 250,000 barrels of flowback water after a “frac” job. This water must be disposed of at a permitted SWD facility.

All water associated with the production of oil and natural gas must be transported to an approved and licensed SWD facility. When no water pipeline system is in place to transport the water, trucks must be used to transport the water to the SWD.

Once the saltwater arrives at the SWD, oil is salvaged from the water prior to pumping it into the disposal well. This “skim oil” can be a significant revenue generator for the facility, above and beyond revenue associated with saltwater disposal fees.

The final step in saltwater disposal is injecting the saltwater into underground formations deep below the surface, sometimes over a mile in depth.

“When wells are properly sited, constructed and operated, underground injection is an effective and environmentally safe method to dispose of wastes.” — Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

 

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