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Oil/Gas/disposal or injection well on my property in dry hole drilled two years ago


QUESTION: Can you answer questions on allowing a disposal well on my property where a dry hole was drilled three years ago?

ANSWER: Mavis,
I may be able to help you with how it will function, safety, traffic, environmental issues and some (but not all as I am not a lawyer) of the contract conditions but not at all on pricing or your revenues from it. This varies a lot from region, type of liquids being disposed, planned amount and anyway, I don't work in that field. My specialty would be concerned with the well, not the contract pricing that is determined in the office.
If you want me to continue please let me know what state and county and any known info about the well such as depth of casings, whether it was plugged or just shut in, if any above ground well head exists and age. If you know the name of the company that drilled it and the name of the well this would help. Also, how far is it from any residence/s and is the access road near one. They generate a lot of road traffic.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks very much.

The well is in Woodson, Texas, (Throckmorton County)
It it Dickie Well #2    API 447-36325  WELL BORE 1830 FEET
It was a dry hole drilled three years ago by HARDING COMPANY in Dallas,Tx.

It is in a remote area away from the small town of Woodson.  Not near any water source or supply.

The operator has or will complete a well bore in compliance with Texas Railroad Commission regulations and identified as a disposal well.  It has not been plugged by the Harding Company.

The drilling permit can be found at the Texas Railroad Commission web site records search. The permit # is 684625. There is no plugging information because the well was shut in and not plugged. The status would be as if operations had just been suspended.

I didn't see a disposal well permit under that API # or the well name in District 7B, Throckmorton County. Most likely the SWD is still in the planning stage at their office and the permit has not been filed. Harding has one other SWD well in that county. The surface casing depth puts it over 100 feet below any potable water sands. That is about all I found. I spent about 2 hours looking and then must get back to my own work. I hope you understand. You can Google Texas Railroad Commission and under that pop up will be a section for Oil and Gas Well Records. This is relatively easy to follow but I did a quick check and Harding has drilled 1417 wells lately and has almost 300 in District 7B so that is a lot of records wading.

However, I don't see the need for either of us to do that. The well exists. The only casing in the well is the surface casing and that is usually set in an impermeable formation. Disposal wells must inject the salt water into a permeable formation. This implies that casing must be run below the surface casing (aka protection string) and the casing perforated to allow injection.
I recommend asking the operator about this. Ask at what depth is the injection sand. Otherwise the well has been drilled and casing tested in accordance with Texas regulations.

Is the well safe or strong enough to use as an injection well? Neither of us would have any way of knowing and I would not offer an opinion anyway. Oil companies are very conscious of liability and EPA regs and penalties are much tighter now.

If this is done the well will have two or more water storage tanks and injection pumps set up near it. Brine has a very sharp smell so there will be some odor associated with it but only around the area of the well pad. Most of the noise will be from the haul trucks rather than the injection pumps. Usually any night time hauling is put into the tanks and when they begin to get full the well operator will come in and pump it down the well bore.

I have seen a few disposal well contract terms and I would recommend looking to see what it states regarding maintaining the road, fencing out cattle and spill clean up.

I don't know if this answers any of your concerns, if not, let me know.


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Carl Alexander


READ THIS! Do NOT ask me questions about LEASING, MINERAL RIGHTS, ROYALTIES, POOLING, etc. I am not qualified to give accurate answers on these subjects. If you DO ask, I will NOT answer! I CAN help you understand the technology and equipment involved in drilling oil and gas wells on land or offshore and the production process after the well is drilled. I prepare the programs for the rigs that get oil and gas out of the ground and direct activities on the drill rig so questions concerning the engineering process and preparing drill sites and roads or marine transport are welcome, those concerning the legal process less so. I work with wells on land or offshore, U.S.A. or other countries. I can also answer environmental, regulatory and safety practices questions.


35 years working in the 'Patch' all over the world. I have drilled for oil & gas on land and water in the U.S.A, Brazil, Guatemala, Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Tunisia, England, British North Sea, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Vietnam, Philippines. I have drilled in water depths up to 2000 meters and on land in desert and artic conditions. Some were in countries where environmental and safety concerns were non-existent and others when they were primary. I have certification for well control/blowout prevention, have attended water/helicopter/boat survival school and am certified for spill cleanup. I am currently working as a consultant for drilling projects and spend half my working time at the drill site and half in my office and most of my "off time" traveling between the two.

Society of Petroleum Engineers

BA/BS - Petroleum Engineer

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