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Railroad Commission of Texas


Railroad Commission of Texas Victor G. Carrillo - Chairman Elizabeth A. Jones Commissioner Michael L. Williams Commissioner Commercial Salt Water Disposal ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Railroad Commission of Texas

Railroad Commission of Texas
  • Victor G. Carrillo - Chairman
  • Elizabeth A. Jones Commissioner
  • Michael L. Williams Commissioner

Commercial Salt Water Disposal Well Permitting
  • Gil Bujano P.E. Assistant Director
  • Technical Permitting, Oil Gas Division

Regulatory Background
  • There are over 392,000 oil and gas industry wells
    in Texas
  • The first injection well in Texas was permitted
    in 1936
  • There are 100,270 injection and disposal wells
    on the books
  • There are 52,084 currently permitted injection
    and disposal wells as of 1/6/2010

Regulatory Background
  • The RRC administers the Class II UIC program in
    Texas under authority delegated by EPA
  • 20 of UIC funding comes from EPA
  • EPA oversight is ongoing to ensure that the RRC
    program is effective
  • RRC program must be equivalent to EPA, but not
    necessarily identical.

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Over 160 Commercial Disposal Wells in the General
  • Clay 1
  • Comanche 1
  • Cooke 7
  • Denton 3
  • Erath 2
  • Grayson - 0
  • Hamilton 2
  • Hill 3
  • Hood - 16
  • Hamilton 1
  • Jack 15
  • Johnson 28
  • Montague 21
  • Palo Pinto 10
  • Parker 15
  • Somervell 5
  • Tarrant 4
  • Wise 31

Permitting Staff
  • 4 Engineer/Geologists review permit applications
  • 1 Engineer supervises workgroup
  • 1 Engineer supervises the Technical Permitting
    section and signs all permits

General Permitting Requirements
  • Base of Useable Quality Groundwater depth
  • Notice and Hearing Opportunity
  • Area of Review
  • Geologic Requirements
  • Surface Casing
  • Production Casing
  • Packer Requirements

  • For new wells, surface casing must be set to the
    protection depth determined by the Texas
    Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
  • This is called the Base of Useable Quality Water
  • The surface casing is cemented to the surface.

Notice Hearing
  • surface owner
  • adjacent landowners (Commercial Disposal)
  • operators within ½ mile
  • city clerk if in city limits
  • published in general circulation paper
  • Protest affected person who has or will suffer
    actual injury or economic damages other than a
    member of the general publicincluding surface
    owners and adjoining offset operators

Area Of Review
  • Statewide rules require that an applicant for an
    injection or disposal well permit examine the
    data of record for wells that penetrate the
    proposed injection zone within a one quarter
    (1/4) mile radius of the proposed well
  • This is to determine if all abandoned wells have
    been plugged in a manner that will prevent the
    movement of fluids into strata other than the
    authorized injection or disposal zone.
  • A permit applicant must submit a map showing the
    location of all wells.

Geological Requirements
  • This part of the permit review verifies that the
    proposed injection zone is adequately isolated by
    relatively impermeable strata to confine injected
    fluids to the proposed zone.
  • The authorized injection or disposal strata must
    be isolated from overlying usable quality water
    by a sufficient thickness of relatively
    impermeable strata, which is generally considered
    to be an accumulative total of at least 250 feet
    of clay or shale.

Completion Requirements Three Layers of
  • 1st Layer Surface Casing
  • 2nd Layer Production casing
  • 3rd Layer Tubing and Packer

Surface Casing 1st layer of protection
  • SWR 13 applies to all RRC wells and requires that
    surface casing be set and cemented through the
    groundwater to protect it before drilling beyond
    that depth into deeper formations
  • Surface casing acts as a protective sleeve
    through which the deeper drilling occurs

Production Casing Completion Requirements 2nd
layer of protection
  • SWR 13 applies to all RRC wells
  • Requires production casing to be cemented
    with enough cement to fill 600 ft above shoe and
    any other productive intervals
  • SWR 9 applies to all RRC disposal wells
  • Specifically for injection wells

Production Casing Completion Requirements cont
  • After drilling (inside the surface casing) to the
    target formation, the production casing is set
    and cemented to isolate the target formation
  • SWR 9 Requires 400-600 ft. of cement at the top
    of the injection interval to ensure that injected
    fluids do not escape the permitted interval
  • By running bond logs, or temperature surveys to
    increase confidence in the effectiveness of the
    cement, less vertical cement may be permitted.

Tubing and Packer 3rd layer of protection
  • All newly drilled or converted disposal wells
    permitted under Rule 9 must be equipped with
    tubing set on a mechanical packer unless an
    exception is granted by the director for good
    cause. Pressure observation valves are required
    on the tubing and each annulus..
  • Tubing is slim pipe inserted into the center of
    the well bore inside the surface casing and
    production casing
  • A packer is a mechanical device that seals the
    open space (annulus) between the tubing and the
  • Disposal wells must have a packer set within 100
    feet of the permitted disposal interval

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  • Annual Monitoring reports must be filed on every
    injection/disposal well to report activity,
    status, and monitoring
  • 52,000 reports are received annualy and reviewed
    by staff and automated programs
  • Initial and periodic Mechanical Integrity Tests
    must be performed to check for leaks
  • RRC staff review 15,000 18,000 tests each year

Permitting of the Bosque Disposal Systems Sophia
  • The well application was filed under Statewide
    Rule 9 for disposal of oil and gas exploration
    and production (EP) waste into the interval
    between 8,700 and 12,750 feet below ground
  • The well application is to dispose into the
    deeper Ellenburger formation, but would be
    carried in the shallower Barnet Shale for book
    keeping reasons.

Bosque Disposal Systems Sophia 3 Surface Casing
  • Deepest groundwater is at 1395 ft. at the well
  • Rules require setting 1395 ft. of surface casing
  • Surface casing in the Sophia SWD well is to be
    set at 1,475 ft. and cemented back to ground

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Railroad Commission of Texas
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