U.S. Water News Online
CASPER, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Pipeline Authority is trying to
determine whether it makes sense to develop a network of pipelines to
carry coal-bed methane water away from the Powder River Basin and
discharge it into the North Platte or Big Horn rivers.
Don Likwartz, supervisor of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation
Commission, said the amount of water being discharged by coal-bed
methane wells is growing rapidly. He said by the end of October 2006,
the industry already had produced more water than it did in all of
2005. When the final numbers are in, Likwartz expects the industry
will have produced 680 million barrels of water last year.
"It's going to be the highest year ever for water production," he
Some view that as a problem because of what's in the water. Some
ranchers and landowners complain salts and other compounds in the
discharged water kill trees and grass. Environmental regulators in
Montana have sued Wyoming in an attempt to get the state to regulate
methane water discharges into rivers that flow into Montana.
Brian Jeffries, director of the Wyoming Pipeline Authority, said
during the meeting that a system of pipelines could carry an
estimated 100 million barrels of water per day to
treatment-and-injection sites or to the Big Horn or North Platte
rivers. The North Platte eventually merges with the South Platte in
But it would cost about 30 cents per barrel.
"The reaction was that 30 cents seems on the high side of some of
our current alternatives," Jeffries said.
Still, Jeffries said, many companies like the idea of a pipeline
because it would take away some of the uncertainty they currently
face because of litigation between Wyoming and Montana over water
Return to the
U.S. Water News' Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.