Bruce G Langhus

Waste Water Management Economics as Part of the Global Oil Sector


Economics of Oil and Gas waste water is separate from the economics of oil exploration and production yet they are closely yoked. Waste water is not sold like natural gas, crude oil, or other hydrocarbons produced by an oil well and therefore a Salt Water Disposal (SWD) well’s revenue is largely immune from global product price cycles. Nevertheless, global cycles of oil economics wield a strong arm over oil and gas investments and it is these investments that give rise to oil and gas wastes. The blog below looks at the current global collapse of oil price and its possible effects on SWD projects. The blog suggests several strategic options that might be considered by SWD operators during the current global cycle.


Global… Continue reading

Fracking Companies Must Come Clean with New Brunswick: Questions Must Be Answered


The Canadian Province of New Brunswick embraces several significant masses of brittle, highly carboniferous shales, attractive targets for exploitation by companies seeking natural gas production. A question worth asking is the following: can this resource be exploited in an environmentally safe manner? A trivial analysis and easy answer could be NO! or YES! We need to look at the local geological details that exist in New Brunswick —this is not North Dakota, this is not Texas. The following blog looks at some of the issues and specific questions that need to be asked and answered before the public can assess environmental and societal impacts.


New Brunswick Shale Resource

Lower Carboniferous shales in New Brunswick contain high concentrations of organic material – remains of… Continue reading

Oilfield Waste Economics




Saltwater Disposal Institute concentrates on making waste-water management in the oilfield more efficient, more protective of the environment, and more profitable for owners and investors. At the same time we help SWD operators integrate other waste management opportunities to increase profitability and increase value to their clients. Some of these opportunities are described below.


Basic SWD
A basic for-profit salt water disposal well (SWD) takes produced salt water, frack flow-back, waste-water from drilling, and other water from upstream activity. Waste-water varies from clean to laden with particulates, oils, and chemicals. The SWD operator will filter the waste-water and pump the clean water down his disposal well. The suspended oil can be reclaimed and sold while the particulates are landfilled. Waste-water is… Continue reading

Oil Skimming Operation


SWDs receive waste water from oil and gas exploration and production activities. Waste water usually contains significant quantities of crude oil entrained in the fluid but the word “significant” can mean a large fraction or a barely perceptible trace. The amount of oil and the ability of the SWD operator to skim the oil will determine the economics of crude oil production from any given SWD. The process can be done many ways and may involve simple settling in the tank battery and enhanced settling by way of a “gunbarrel” separator or a centrifuge. The more common technologies used in the oil field are discussed below.

Skimmed oil sales add to the revenue of many SWDs around the country. Crude oil recovered from… Continue reading

“Peak Oil” and SWD Operation


Crude oil is an unique energy source in today’s world —more or less cheap, more or less plentiful, and easy to transport. It is much denser in its energy content than any other common fuel; more BTUs per pound than wood, battery power, coal, or natural gas. The second half of the Industrial Age has depended upon oil. Wars have been fought over oil. The global economy has thrived and fallen on hiccups in oil statistics. The past 10 months have featured a raft of complex and conflicting crude oil developments portending profound but unclear changes to the industry and specifically to the oil and gas waste disposal sector. It appears that the global effects of stumbling into Peak-Oil are here. The industry is… Continue reading