U.S. Water News Online
GILLETTE, Wyo. -- Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is spending more
than $50 million to re-inject coal-bed methane water into an aquifer
in northeast Wyoming.
Construction is set to begin on a 48-mile water pipeline from
Anadarko's County Line field in eastern Johnson County to injection
wells at the company's property near Midwest. The 2-foot diameter
pipeline will inject the coal-bed methane water into the Madison
Anadarko spokesman Rick Robitaille said the pipeline/injection
system will take most of the company's coal-bed methane water from
its most prolific field in the Powder River Basin and help solve its
water management dilemma for many years to come.
Holding ponds and various water treatment and land application
tools will always be a necessity, Robitaille said.
"It's an expensive process. But the plus side is we're storing the
water should somebody want to use it in the future," Robitaille said.
The coal-bed methane gas industry pumps about 1.5 million barrels
of water from underlying coals in the basin every day to free the gas
Some 300 coal-bed methane water injection wells have been
authorized in Wyoming, most in the Powder River Basin, but only about
one-third are in use, according to the Wyoming Department of
Environmental Quality's Water Quality Division.
Environmental groups and surface owners have long advocated water
re-injection as the best way to deal with the water, which can
contain unwanted pollutants and chemicals.
But so far, Anadarko's is the only large-scale re-injection
project in the basin.
"There are companies trying re-injection, but we're not seeing a
lot of success," said Richard Zander, assistant field manager at the
Bureau of Land Management Buffalo Field Office.
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