SWD economics

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

Improving Project Salability During “Interesting Times”



The market for SWDs is almost saturated with newly permitted sites; these are especially common in the tite-oil universe of Eagle Ford, Permian, etc. If you have a new permit, what factors will influence investors and operators for picking your prospect? If you are an investor, what ought you look for when evaluating a new SWD site?


Location is always important in any market and it’s particularly true for commercial disposal wells. Particularly important is the presence or plans for salt-water pipelines in the area. The proposed SWD needs to be part of any existing or future pipelines. Contracts with area producers will greatly enhance a proposed SWD. 

CAPEX Summary

CAPEX forecasts can be made “water-tight”by including current firm quotes from… Continue reading

The Collision of Water and Oil in the Post-Peak World

November 21, 2013

The Collision of Water and Oil in the Post-Peak World

November 30, 2013

Introduction: Conventional oil has peaked globally during the past eight years or so, estimates vary. In the meantime unconventional oil has seized the world stage and commands most of the investor funds in the industry. Unconventional hydrocarbons are not only expensive to produce but are also demanding in terms of the amount of water that must be managed. The final stage of the management process is always disposal deep underground away from the living environment. This blog-post explores the implications of these unconventional pursuits for the long-term viability and financial stability of the salt water disposal (SWD) business.

Unconventional Oil Development:  Several non-conventional techniques for producing oil have… Continue reading

SWDI Investor’s Guide – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and the Salt Water Disposal Well

SWDI Investor’s Guide – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and the Salt Water Disposal Well    

SWDI Preferred Controls     


August 2, 2013

Today’s automatic sensors and control software can enhance the efficiency and economics of an SWD well. This blog post will detail the off-the-shelf options that are currently available and the advantages that the SWD operator can gain from their use. The blog post is authored by the SWDI and Harold Desautel of Preferred Controls, Minot North Dakota.

Plant Control System
Choosing the correct… Continue reading