Diminishing Depth to Water in Cambrian-Ordovician Arbuckle Group Disposal Wells in Kansas
Industrial and municipal wastewater and oilfield brines have been disposed of into the Cambrian-Ordovician Arbuckle Group for decades in Kansas and nearby states in the midcontinent United States. The industrial and municipal wastewater disposal wells (designated Class I disposal wells) are regulated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The oilfield brines are disposed of in Class II disposal wells, which are regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission. Annual testing of formation pressure and static fluid levels in Class I wells compose a body of data that is useful in monitoring movement of water and fill-up of Arbuckle disposal zones. In western Kansas, the depth to water in wells penetrating the Arbuckle can be several hundred to more than a thousand feet (305 m) below ground surface, but in parts of southern and southeastern Kansas, the depth to water locally can be less than 100 ft (31 m). Furthermore, most Class I wells indicate Arbuckle fluid levels in central and south-central Kansas are rising ~10 ft (~3 m) annually, suggesting that at current disposal rates, the Arbuckle may lose its capacity to accept wastewater under gravity flow in parts of the state in the next few decades, principally south-central and southeastern Kansas along the Oklahoma state line. At present in parts of six Kansas counties along the Oklahoma state line, low-density (~1.0 g/cc or slightly greater density) wastewater in a wellbore does not have a sufficient hydrostatic head by gravity alone to force its way into the more dense resident Arbuckle formation water.
In general, Arbuckle formation water flows west to east in Kansas. Arbuckle disposal wells in Kansas collectively dispose of ~800,000,000 barrels (~127,000,000 m3) of wastewater per year, although some of this is recycled from Arbuckle oil production. Declines in oil price since mid-2014 have resulted in less oilfield disposal in the Arbuckle since 2015. The number of Class I wells recording annual fluid rises have also declined since 2015, as has the median of their annual change in static fluid level, but overall, more Class I wells are still recording fluid rises. There is a poor correlation between changes in fluid levels in Class I wells and the volume of fluid disposed in them annually, thereby indicating that more regional characteristics may control water movement in the Arbuckle. More monitoring wells are needed to better understand the movement of water in the deep subsurface and to anticipate any potential problems that may occur with reduced disposal capacity and possible migration of fluids through unplugged or improperly plugged older wells.
Ansari, E., Bidgoli, T. S., and Hollenbach, A., 2019, Accelerated fill-up of the Arbuckle Group aquifer and links to US midcontinent seismicity: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, v. 124, no. 3, p. 2,670–2,683.
Byrnes, A. P., Franseen, E. K., and Steinhauff, D. M., 1999, Integrating plug to well-scale petrophysics with detailed sedimentology to quantify fracture, vug, and matrix properties in carbonate reservoirs — An example from the Arbuckle Group, Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey, Open-File Report 99-47, 3 sheets. http://www.kgs.ku.edu/PRS/Poster/1999/99-47/index.html
Cansler, J. R., and Carr, T. R., 2001, Paleogeomorphology of the sub-Pennsylvanian unconformity of the Arbuckle Group (Cambrian–Lower Ordovician): Kansas Geological Survey Open-File Report 2001-55, 2 sheets. http://www.kgs.ku.edu/PRS/publication/OFR2001-55/
Carr, J. E., McGovern, H. E., and Gogel, T., 1986, Geohydrology and potential for fluid disposal in the Arbuckle aquifer in Kansas: United States Geological Survey, Open-File Report no. 86-491, 101 p.
Carr, T. R., Merriam, D. F., and Bartley, J. D., 2005, Use of relational databases to evaluate regional petroleum accumulation, groundwater flow, and CO2 sequestration in Kansas: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Bulletin, v. 89, no. 12, p. 1,607–1,627.
Conley, C. D., 1980, Petrology of Arbuckle Group, central Kansas (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Bulletin, v. 64, no. 6, p. 960.
Crews, J., Mesko, T., and Kaden, S., 2010, Total dissolved solids concentrations of groundwater from the Ozark aquifer (Cambrian-Ordovician Systems) in Missouri: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey Program, Map OFM-10-571-GS.
Dahlberg, E. C., 1982, Applied Hydrodynamics in Petroleum Exploration: New York, Springer-Verlag, 161 p.
Doveton, J. H., 1986, Log Analysis of Subsurface Geology: New York, John Wiley & Sons, 273 p.
Earlougher, R. C., Jr., 1977, Advances in Well Test Analysis: New York, Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, 264 p.
Evans, C. S., and Newell, K. D., 2013, The Mississippian Limestone Play in Kansas: Oil and gas in a complex geologic setting: Kansas Geological Survey, Public Information Circular 33, 6 p.
Fazelalavi, M., 2015, Step-rate test, interference test results and DST results in Wellington: Kansas Geological Survey, Open-File Report, 2015-20, 12 p. http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Publications/OFR/2015/OFR2015_20.pdf
Franseen, E. K., Byrnes, A. P., Cansler, J. R., Steinhauff, D. M., and Carr, T. R., 2004, The geology of Kansas, Arbuckle Group: Kansas Geological Survey, Current Research in Earth Sciences, Bulletin 250, pt. 2. https://journals.ku.edu/mg/article/view/11789
Goebel, E. D, 1968, Cambrian System, in The Stratigraphic Succession in Kansas, D. E. Zeller, ed., p. 11–13: Kansas Geological Survey, Bulletin 89, 81 p.
Haworth, E., 1908, Special report on oil and gas: University Geological Survey of Kansas, v. 9, 586 p.
Horner, D. R., 1951, Pressure build-up in wells: Proceedings of the 3rd World Petroleum Congress, Section II, E.J. Brill, Leiden, Netherlands, p. 25–43.
Jorgensen, D. G., Helgesen, J. O., and Imes, J. L., 1993, Regional aquifers in Kansas, Nebraska, and parts of Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming; geohydrologic framework: United States Geological Survey, Professional Paper, no. 1414-B, 72 p. https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1414B
Jorgensen, D. G., Helgesen, J. O., Signor, D. C., Leonard, R. B., Imes, J. L., and Christenson, S. C., 1996, Analysis of regional aquifers in the central Midwest of the United States in Kansas, Nebraska, and parts of Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming; summary: United States Geological Survey, Professional Paper, no. 1414-A, 84 p. https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1414A
Kansas Geological Survey, 2018a, Oil and gas wells database. http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Magellan/Qualified/index.html
Kansas Geological Survey, 2018b, Search for brine analyses in Kansas. http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Magellan/Brine/index.html
Kansas Geological Survey, 2019, State production and historical info. http://www.kgs.ku.edu/PRS/petro/state.html
Macfarlane, P. A., and Hathaway, L. R., 1987, The hydrogeology and chemical quality of ground waters from the lower Paleozoic aquifers in the Tri-State region of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma: Kansas Geological Survey, Ground Water Series 9, 37 p.
Merriam, D. F., 1963, The geologic history of Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey, Bulletin 162, 317 p.
Newell, K. D., Bidgoli, T., Doveton, J. H., Whittemore, D., and Victorine, J., 2017, Water quality and flow in saltwater-containing formations in Kansas: Abstracts and Program, 2017 Governor’s Water Conference, Manhattan, Kansas: Kansas Water Office. https://kwo.ks.gov/docs/default-source/governor's-water-conference/2017-governor's-conference-presentations/newell---water-quality-and-flow.pdf?sfvrsn=20fe8714_2
Newell, K. D., Peterie, S., Killion, M., DeArmond, B., Ridley, C., Mandel, R., and Buchanan, R., 2019, Will the Arbuckle Group remain a viable disposal zone in Kansas?: Bulletin of the Kansas Geological Society, Wichita, Kansas, v. 94, no. 3, p. 14–20.
Peterie, S. L., Miller, R. D., Buchanan, R., and DeArmond, B., 2018, Fluid injection wells can have a wide seismic reach: EOS, 99. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EO096199
Peterie, S. L., Miller, R. D., Intfen, J. E., and Gonzales, J. B., 2018, Earthquakes in Kansas induced by extremely far-field pressure: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 45, p. 1,395–1,401.
Pollyea, R. N., Mohammadi, N., Taylor, J. E., and Chapman, M. C., 2018, Geospatial analysis of Oklahoma (USA) earthquakes (2011–2016); quantifying the limits of regional earthquake mitigation: Geology, v. 46, p. 215–218.
Ramondetta, P. J., 1990, El Dorado — an old field with potential: Oil and Gas Journal, March 26, p. 110–116.
Scheffer, A., 2012, Geochemical and microbiological characterization of the Arbuckle saline aquifer, a potential CO2 storage reservoir; implications for hydraulic separation and caprock integrity: University of Kansas, Department of Geology, unpublished M.S. thesis, 82 p.
U. S. Energy Information Administration, 2019, Kansas crude oil first purchase price. https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=f002020__3&f=m
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2016, Underground injection control well classes. https://www.epa.gov/uic/underground-injection-control-well-classes
Wilkerson, T., 2017, 2017 pressure fall off and static fluid level test report, WWDW #1, Permit #KS-01-155-008: unpublished report by T&C Consulting for City of Hutchinson and Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 72 p.
Zerr, B., 2009, City of Hutchinson completes new reverse osmosis treatment plant: Kansas Rural Water Association, The Kansas Lifeline, November, p. 68–71. https://www.hungerfordterry.com/Hutchinson.pdf
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Authors can view article download statistics for published articles within their accounts.
The following is an agreement between the Author (the “Corresponding Author”) acting on behalf of all authors of the work (“Authors”) and Midcontinent Geoscience (the “Journal”) regarding your article (the “Work”) that is being submitted for consideration.
Whereas the parties desire to promote effective scholarly communication that promotes local control of intellectual assets, the parties for valuable consideration agree as follows.
A. CORRESPONDING AUTHOR’S GRANT OF RIGHTS
After being accepted for publication, the Corresponding Author grants to the Journal, during the full term of copyright and any extensions or renewals of that term, the following:
1. An irrevocable non-exclusive right to reproduce, republish, transmit, sell, distribute, and otherwise use the Work in electronic and print editions of the Journal and in derivative works throughout the world, in all languages, and in all media now known or later developed.
2. An irrevocable non-exclusive right to create and store electronic archival copies of the Work, including the right to deposit the Work in open access digital repositories.
3. An irrevocable non-exclusive right to license others to reproduce, republish, transmit, and distribute the Work under the condition that the Authors are attributed. Currently this is carried out by publishing the content under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 license (CC BY-NC.)
4. Copyright in the Work remains with the Authors.
B. CORRESPONDING AUTHOR’S DUTIES
1. When distributing or re-publishing the Work, the Corresponding Author agrees to credit the Journal as the place of first publication.
2. The Corresponding Author agrees to inform the Journal of any changes in contact information.
C. CORRESPONDING AUTHOR’S WARRANTY
The Corresponding Author represents and warrants that the Work is the Authors’ original work and that it does not violate or infringe the law or the rights of any third party and, specifically, that the Work contains no matter that is defamatory or that infringes literary or proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, or any rights of privacy. The Corresponding Author also warrants that he or she has the full power to make this agreement, and if the Work was prepared jointly, the Corresponding Author agrees to inform the Authors of the terms of this Agreement and to obtain their written permission to sign on their behalf. The Corresponding Author agrees to hold the Journal harmless from any breach of the aforestated representations.
D. JOURNAL’S DUTIES
In consideration of the Author’s grant of rights, the Journal agrees to publish the Work, attributing the Work to the Authors.
E. ENTIRE AGREEMENT
This agreement reflects the entire understanding of the parties. This agreement may be amended only in writing by an addendum signed by the parties. Amendments are incorporated by reference to this agreement.
ACCEPTED AND AGREED BY THE CORRESPONDING AUTHOR ON BEHALF OF ALL AUTHORS CONTRIBUTING TO THIS WORK