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News in brief

A roundup of the main developments regarding water in the oil & gas industry for November 9-28

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) imposed new restrictions on produced water disposal around the location of a saltwater purge at the Blaine and Kingfisher county line. Eight nearby saltwater disposal wells (SWDs) are now shut in and injection pressures have been limited to 1,000 psi for 11 others. The OCC has also halted permits for SWDs targeting the Permian formation in an area of 14,000 square miles, and it is limiting statewide permit approvals for injection of more than 5,000 bbl/d into the deeper Pennsylvanian formation. Officials have yet to identify the source of the 120-bbl/d purge, which was reported on July 1.

Research by the Center for American Progress revealed that around 60% of the more than 5,550 federal oil & gas leases offered in the western US since 2017 are in areas experiencing water stress. The think tank used data from the US Department of Interior and the World Resources Institute.

A new study by Miami University, in collaboration with the US Geological Survey, demonstrated that fracking activities have contributed to seismicity in the Eagle Ford play. The study also showed that operators’ drilling strategies have an impact on seismicity, with the simultaneous fracking of multiple wells making a seismic event three times more likely to occur.

Under rules recently enacted by California Governor Gavin Newsom, proposed hydraulic fracturing projects will be reviewed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and state finance department. Newsom also suspended high-pressure steamflooding used in enhanced oil recovery operations. The initiatives follow a $2.7 million fine imposed on Chevron last month for the release of more than 21,400 bbls of oil and water in Kern County and the firing of Ken Harris, head of the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, due to the high number of fracking permits issued by the agency in H1 2019.

Goodnight Midstream said it had completed the integration of Wyatt Water Solutions, which it purchased in 2017. The water management company also announced the start of construction on the new Rooster SWD in Dewitt County.

The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ) said that nearly 33,000 bbls of produced water from a Marathon Oil operation had been released from a buried pipeline near Manning last month. The oil company initially estimated that around 500 bbls had been spilled. An NDDEQ spokesman said that no impacts to the nearby Knife River have been detected and that monitoring efforts continue.

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