OH’s Injection Wells See All-Time High Frack Disposal in 2015

Even with rigs being idled and the coming “dramatic” slowdown in drilling in the Marcellus/Utica (see today’s companion story), there’s one thing that is predictable–wastewater will increase. How can that be? Long after a well is drilled, water from deep below the earth (below what we think of as the aquifer or drinking water table) continues to pour out of a drilled hole. This super-salty water is often referred to as brine. Sometimes called produced water. And it comes out of the hole for years after the hole is drilled. Until now, most active drillers recycled the brine coming from their wells to reuse as a source for fracking new wells. But now, with companies idling most–even all of their rigs–what do they do with all of that water? It must be disposed–and the most likely candidate is an injection well. Most of the injection wells used by Marcellus/Utica drillers are located in Ohio. So it was no surprise to learn that the volume of brine disposal in Ohio jumped 27% in 2015–to a new all-time record of 28.8 million barrels…

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