For the last 5 a, the authors have been investigating the transport, fate, natural attenuation and ecosystem impacts of inorganic and organic compounds in releases of produced water and associated hydrocarbons at the Osage-Skiatook Petroleum Environmental Research (OSPER) "A" and "B" sites, located in NE Oklahoma. Approximately 1.0 ha of land at OSPER "B", located within the active Branstetter lease, is visibly affected by salt scarring, tree kills, soil salinization, and brine and petroleum contamination. Site "B" includes an active production tank battery and adjacent large brine pit, two injection well sites, one with an adjacent small pit, and an abandoned brine pit and tank battery site. Oil production in this lease started in 1938, and currently there are 10 wells that produce 0.2-0.5 m3/d (1-3 bbl/d) oil, and 8-16 m3/d (50-100 bbl/d) brine. Geochemical data from nearby oil wells show that the produced water source is a Na-Ca-Cl brine (???150,000 mg/L TDS), with high Mg, but low SO4 and dissolved organic concentrations. Groundwater impacts are being investigated by detailed chemical analyses of water from repeated sampling of 41 boreholes, 1-71 m deep. The most important results at OSPER "B" are: (1) significant amounts of produced water from the two active brine pits percolate into the surficial rocks and flow towards the adjacent Skiatook reservoir, but only minor amounts of liquid petroleum leave the brine pits; (2) produced-water brine and minor dissolved organics have penetrated the thick (3-7 m) shale and siltstone units resulting in the formation of three interconnected plumes of high-salinity water (5000-30,000 mg/L TDS) that extend towards the Skiatook reservoir from the two active and one abandoned brine pits; and (3) groundwater from the deep section of only one well, BR-01 located 330 m upslope and west of the site, appear not to be impacted by petroleum operations. ?? 2007.
Additional publication details
Fate and groundwater impacts of produced water releases at OSPER "B" site, Osage County, Oklahoma