clean water tank battery level transmitters

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

How do you keep your SWD Data and profits from going downhole?

When operating a modern Salt Water Disposal well, there is no disputing that data management and invoicing are critical to the plant’s profitability. Operators must know the origin, volume, truck, time of delivery, and date for all of the loads entering the system. This identification information can be entered by the SWD operator or by the truck driver in either a paper ticket format or a touch-pad computer screen on-site. SWDs have unique requirements for accounting, administrative duties, and mandatory reporting to the state or Tribe. Many owners find it frustrating when trying to find a data management system that is flexible and able to accommodate the demands of a SWD.

With today’s market volatility, it is extremely important to streamline data management processes, reduce… 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

An Unattended SWD Operation

Pete Blog



With the price of oil  falling to lows not seen since 2009, producers are putting pressure on SWD operators to reduce the price charged for frack flow-back and produced water disposal. In order to run more efficient SWD plant operations and reduce man-power costs, SWD companies are turning to automation so that operators are not needed full-time on location.

PREFERRED CONTROLS an automation company in Minot, North Dakota has the solutions to lean out operating costs while maintaining control. When running an unmanned plant there are several processes that need to be monitored. First the trucking companies that will be using the facility need to enter their assigned I.D. code into a touch screen along with the truck number, barrels of… Continue reading

Filter Systems Applicable to SWDs

Waste water injectate may contain a significant volume of particulate material when it is delivered to the SWD. Initial filtering and settling within the tank battery will remove most of the particulates from the stream. Final filtering prior to injection may be needed. While some SWD operators do not use filters prior to injection, there are several alternative technologies that can easily be applied to initial and final filtration in order to protect the injection zone and extend the well’s useful life. These technologies are discussed below and can be used for either initial or final filtering steps.


Filtration with Replaceable Filters
The simplest setup for filtration involves a steel vessel with several internal filter-pods that accept single-use fabric filters or perforated, re-useable… Continue reading