Operators appear to be getting bolder as they go deeper, with the Texas RRC’s approval. BHP Billiton successfully permitted three (3) 90,000-bpd saltwater disposal wells recently in the Devonian/Silurian in Reeves county, at depths between 15,000 and 17,000 ft.
Only time will tell how much produced water these high-dollar wells will really take; today, few wells in Texas are injecting over 30,000 bpd. While there is not enough operating history to determine trends in deep injectors yet, in most injection scenarios we believe pressures will be a limiting factor long before maximum allowable volumes are achieved.
In the Texas Delaware Basin, for example, operators, on a volume-weighted average, are using only ~25% of maximum allowable volumes, but that equates to roughly 50% of Maximum Allowable Pressures (MAOP) as determined by the Texas RRC. This suggests maximum pressures will be reached a good while before we attain maximum allowable volumes (or rates of injection).
We’ll be speaking on this and other topics at the upcoming Produced Water Society meeting February 12 and 13 in Houston. Hope you’ll join us! http://www.producedwaterevents.com/pws-seminar-2020/