Wells that are used to dispose of oil field brine and other liquids not considered hazardous can be either new wells drilled for that purpose, or old oil and gas wells that no longer produce.
There isn’t much difference and the need for disposal wells is growing.
According to Heidi Hetzel-Evans, communications manager for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, most injection wells used to be gas and oil wells that were no longer productive. In recent years, however, the trend has been to drill wells specifically for use as injection wells. There is little difference, as a converted well has to meet all the same safety regulations as a well drilled for the purpose of fluid injection.
On the list of injection wells maintained by the state, there is information on the depth and location of each well, what formation it can inject into, when the well was drilled or converted to an injection well, the pressure which can be used and when the well was tested.
Unfortunately, the list does not contain an easy way to tell if the well is converted or was drilled for injection operations.
Injection disposal wells are common in Ohio, 190 at last count, with 177 operating. Eight permits are pending, although none have been issued since December as the permitting process is on hold pending the outcome of studies being done on the tremors associated with the Youngstown deep injection wells.