Monthly Archives: January 2013

Economics of Disposal Projects

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Introduction

Income, costs, and profits from saltwater disposal (SWD) wells fit into a complex equation. If the investor is careful, costs and net revenue can be remarkably stable, leading to steady profits and reliable forecasts. This current post will take an abbreviated look at typical costs, market trends, potential problems and due-diligence issues for the careful investor.
CAPEX: Capital costs for disposal well projects can be listed in several categories:
  1. Well costs – whether drilling and completing a new well or purchase of an existing bore-hole – these costs can be very easily be into the millions. At least one well is needed but a back-up well is essential to provide constant service at a large disposal facility.
  2. Surface equipment – these items might range… Continue reading

Promised Land, The Movie Gets It Right

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 January 16, 2013

Introduction
Last weekend was the first general release of the Gus Van Sandt – Matt Damon movie Promised Land. Dr Smith and I went to see it with a sense of trepidation and expectation – would the movie be a replay of GasLand, a string of unrelated videos or a real movie with characters and plot? We came away satisfied with the movie and glad to have invested the $10 (no popcorn). But I want to spoil it for you – this movie is not about environmental threats, it’s about local politics and as such it has the greatest relevance to the oil and gas operators and those investors in the saltwater disposal business.
Promised Land portrays life in a small… Continue reading

SWD Investors’ Guide to Water Treatment Schemes

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Introduction
America’s oil and gas industry produces huge volumes of saltwater in lockstep with oil and gas production. Most hydrocarbon reservoirs contain water mixed with the hydrocarbons – it’s this water that is unavoidably produced to the surface. In addition to reservoir water, oil and gas producers sometimes add water to the subsurface environment by high pressure fracture treatments – fracking – and this water is eventually returned to the surface. Oilfield waste water, whether reservoir water or frack water, is almost all saltwater with salinities higher than sea water; there are few commercial uses for this water except to re-inject into the original reservoir to maintain pressure. If the produced water could be treated to make it less salty, it could be used to… Continue reading