Water Injection is Dead. Long Live Water Injection


Remember when the kings used to die and the peasants would shout, “The King is dead; long live the King.” 

Part of what they were trying to say is, “The King died, but we’re scared of a new King because he’s unknown to us!”

That’s kind of how we’re treating water injection wells right now.

[If you don’t know what we’re talking about, scroll to the end for about a 100 word summary.]

Injection as a solution for by-product water is fading. 

  • Seismic troubles caused by injection have made everyone nervous – who wants to be responsible for leveling Tulsa? 
  • Increasingly, there’s concerns over exactly what that water is doing once back in the ground. You can explain to the water about staying only in the well, but, you know, it doesn’t always listen. So, then we have uncleaned water comingling with ground water. 
  • Regulating bodies are now more concerned about granting permits to start new injection. So, good luck getting a new – or renewed --permit.

So, King Injection is dead.

But, long live the King because:

1. We hate to change. The bigger the corporation, often the less open to change we are. 

2. We’ve always done it this way -- famous last words by the execs at Kodak…

3. We hang onto our excuses - even after they are no longer valid. For years, the reason that alternatives to injection were not embraced is because they were either “non-existent” or were “too expensive.” BUWA and Encore Green have proved both to be invalid. But excuses die hard.

4. We worry about internal politics. Adopting a new innovative idea makes people, especially those who are a bit entrenched, to feel threatened. What if I can’t control this new adoption of a process inside my own company? 

5. We don’t care. We like to be in charge and don’t care if there’s a beneficial-use solution that will help all of us who drink water. I like my position of authority. Let ‘em eat cake, uh, I mean, let ‘em pay $5 a gallon for kitchen sink tap water.

The King is gone. It’s time to move on. You and your company can be the water heroes. Long live the new King: Turning by-product water into beneficial-use!


100 Word Summary

For those who aren’t playing along at home, many industries - oil, manufacturing, and any company that is keeping lots of square feet cool - produces billions and billions and billions of gallons of water as part of their industrial process. This is a good thing – we need their products and services.

The water, though, becomes a real headache for them because they can’t just let it run out the back yard or down the street. Most of the times it’s not very clean water. So, the king, the Injection Well, came to rule. This by-product water is trucked to a facility and then injected into the ground. Lately, there’s numerous concerns over continuing this practice.