Injection Wells

Injection wells are widely considered to be the best method for disposal of treated wastewater from the oil and gas industry. Unlike other direct disposal techniques, injection wells utilize the earth (rocks and sediments) to filter and clean treated wastewater. The method also spreads treated wastewater over a wider area for filtrations, reducing its environmental impacts.


Q: What is an injection well?
A: An injection well is a device that disposes of fluid underground into porous rock formations. Underground injections is used by many industries and public agencies to dispose of wastewater. Underground injection is an integral part of oil production and has been used for decades across the nation, both to increase oil recovery from oil and natural gas formations and to safely dispose of water produced along with oil and gas. The injection wells dispose of water that has naturally occurring high levels of salt and other elements into underground formations. Average Clearwater injection wells are 9,000 feet, or close to 2 miles.
Q: How do injection wells work?
A: Groundwater naturally moves between rocks that contain petroleum and other naturally occurring elements, such as salt. Much of it isn't suitable for drinking or most other uses. It is suitable for, and indeed essential to, oil production. When oil is pumped from underground reserves, it come to the surface naturally commingled with water. The oil and water are then separated. This water, commonly referred to as "produced water," often contains high levels of salt and other naturally occurring elements and may not be suitable for public water supplies.
Q: What is enhanced oil recovery?
A: The nation's oil fields have been producing oil for more than a century. While large amounts of oil remain in the ground, much of it requires enhanced oil recovery technology to produce, such as injection of steam or water into areas that produce oil or gas. The vast majority of the water needed for these technologies is recycled produced water.