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Old 04-25-2008, 05:03 PM
 
24,583 posts, read 10,768,450 times
Reputation: 27869
Default Is Oklahoma water being contaminated by salt water due to oil well drilling?

I have no idea. But I think its an important enough subject to ALL of us to allow discussion. I raised this question awhile back and the thread died.

So here is my second attempt to allow folks to ask questions and maybe those with good academic research skills and those with oil well drilling knowledge can add to this discussion.

So as to not hijack the thread on Shawnee real estate, I thought I would start this thread.

Is Oklahoma ground water being contaminated by salt water? If so, is it natural geological processes, or can some of it be due to oil well drilling activity?

A quick search of Oklahoma Supreme Courts Networks show there have been lawsuits filed against oil well drilling companies due to surface water, stock pond and stream contamination. But there is also at least one court case involving contamination to subsurface water sources.

A very quick search revealed the following cases in Oklahoma:

^7 Plaintiff testified concerning the physical condition of the surface estate, and particularly establishing the presence of open, unplugged well bores, abandoned oil field equipment, and evidence of erosion-causing surface spills of salt brine and mineral products. Plaintiff testified that ****** had been observed pumping salt brine into one or more open well bores without a valid permit from the Corporation Commission, and Plaintiff attributed much of the damage to his surface estate and subsurface aquifers directly to pollution from mineral operations by ***** ******, Defendants' immediate predecessor in interest.
^OSCN Found Document:MEINDERS v. JOHNSON

And,

*1 S. P. ***** recovered judgment against the Devonian Oil Company and Echo Oil Company for damages to cattle alleged to have been caused by drinking water polluted and contaminated by oil, salt water, and other deleterious substances, negligently and wrongfully allowed to escape from defendant's oil mining operations, and run over the surface of the land, and into certain draws and creeks which were the water supply for the cattle running in his pasture in Osage county,
*OSCN Found DocumentEVONIAN OIL CO. v. SMITH

**A lawsuit filed as early as 1957 from surface contamination due to negligence resulting in damage to Pecan crops and livestock.
**OSCN Found Document:SUPERIOR OIL CO. v. GRIFFIN

***Surface stock ponds contaminated by spillage from oil well activity.
***OSCN Found Document:GULF OIL CORPORATION v. McCOY

For further reading, the following is a partial list of links:

Electronic Technology Being Used to Map Salt Water Contamination in Developing Areas of Central Oklahoma (broken link)


Oklahoma Water Resources Board: Water Well Drilling & Pump Installation


Oklahoma Corporation Commission-Home
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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Just curious, how many wells are there in Oklahoma?

Can someone decipher this table?

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/OKoil-gaswelldrillingtable2004.jpg (broken link)
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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Default Oklahoma Quick Facts

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/OKStateEnergyProfile.jpg (broken link)



*Energy Information Administration - State Energy Profiles - State energy data, information, and maps
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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I have no idea what Redbird is talking about, so here's a picture of a bunny with 10 cookies on his head.

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/bunnywithcookiesforRB.jpg (broken link)

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/talkingtomyself.jpg (broken link)
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:03 PM
 
Location: OK
2,482 posts, read 3,862,695 times
Reputation: 1460
Talk about thread drift ...............
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Old 04-26-2008, 01:58 AM
 
Location: Norman
330 posts, read 667,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbird4848 View Post
Just curious, how many wells are there in Oklahoma?

Can someone decipher this table?

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/OKoil-gaswelldrillingtable2004.jpg (broken link)
Well, going by the table just look at the bottom of it where it says total. Based on that, it reads 37,733 oil wells and 40,620 gas wells. I have no idea it that's too many or not. From the sound of it, it sounds like a lot.

As for the contamination I will say this, anytime man tampers with the earth, the earth tends to bite back at some point in time. I wouldn't doubt there's some contamination somewhere - that's just what happens when people poke holes in the earth. I'll use a couple of buzz words to describe the situation - "side effects" or "unintended consequences". How about this one "undocumented perceptions".
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,882 posts, read 24,277,209 times
Reputation: 5356
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbird4848 View Post
I have no idea what Redbird is talking about, so here's a picture of a bunny with 10 cookies on his head.

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/bunnywithcookiesforRB.jpg (broken link)

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/talkingtomyself.jpg (broken link)
Can't answer your questions but you're hilarious..
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:05 AM
 
24,583 posts, read 10,768,450 times
Reputation: 27869
The freshwater aquifer IS being contaminated by salt water disposal wells. And not just from oil tank spills.

*[i]"...The *SWD well has contaminated the surrounding shallow ground water and the unnamed tributary stream lying to the immediate west of the SWD well."

And before anyone states this may be from the fact that Okalahoma was once part of an inland sea....

*"Salt-bearing sequences of Permian age are noticeably absent from surface and near-surface
horizons in this area of Oklahoma
(12)."

Basically, this case is an exploratory well dug in 1948, abandoned and turned into a salt water disposal well.

*"A resultant downhole pressure in excess of 1400 psig will be
produced at the *<company name deleted> well after 30 years due to
salt water injection at the disposal well. This pressure
would be sufficient to allow DeVore SWD brines to
migrate up the DeVore-Wolfe wellbore and enter the
freshwater aquifer
near MW-1
".

*http://digital.library.okstate.edu/o...v66/p53_61.pdf

A few pics from Seminole County, OK. A different site from the one above which was in Noble County, OK.

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/SeminoleCooilandsaltwater1releas-1.jpg (broken link)

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/SeminoleCountyoilandsaltwater1-1rel.jpg (broken link)

And finally, lawsuits get the attention of large companies.

**"Complaints filed in 1995 and 1997 allege that Koch unlawfully allowed some 3 million gallons of crude oil and related products to leak from its pipelines into ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, or onto adjacent shorelines, from 1990 to 1997. Most of the spills were caused by corrosion of pipelines in rural areas. The governments allege that Koch could have prevented the corrosion by proper operation and maintenance."

**#019: KOCH INDUSTRIES TO PAY RECORD FINE FOR OIL SPILLS IN SIX STATES
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Somewhere! :)
1,989 posts, read 2,955,226 times
Reputation: 373
I haven't said anything because I'm not versed on the subject.
(Like that's ever stopped me before?)

Judging by the way my luck runs, now that I'm drinking this water,
you can bet it's contaminated.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:08 AM
 
24,583 posts, read 10,768,450 times
Reputation: 27869
Many oil wells in Oklahoma are classified as "marginal oil producing" wells, which means they are owned/operated by individuals, not large corporations. And these wells can produce as little as 0-3 barrels a day. There are approximately 46,000 marginal oil wells in Oklahoma.

Can these operators keep up the equipment to prevent leaks and spills into the ecosystem?

And NO, I am not a tree-hugger, nor am I an environmentalist. I am simply a resident who asks questions about potential harm to our water supply.
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