Kansas Geological Survey, Open-File Rept. 96-1a
Proposed Management Areas--Page 15 of 16
Oil and gas is produced from rock formations underlying much of the central Kansas part of this management area (Figure 6). The oil or gas pumped by production wells is accompanied by varying amounts of saltwater from the deep formations containing the petroleum. The saltwater must be disposed in subsurface formations containing saltwater at depths that will not lead to contamination of overlying aquifers. Current Kansas regulations establish minimum depths for disposal of oil and gas brines (Table II of the General Rules and Regulations for the Conservation of Oil and Natural Gas of the Kansas Corporation Commission [KCC]). However, there has been some disposal of formation brine in the early 1940Ős into zones in the lower part of the upper Dakota aquifer already containing saline water in Russell County.
Oil brine has been and is disposed into the Cedar Hills Sandstone aquifer underlying the Dakota aquifer. A concern has been whether the additional pressures in the Cedar Hills could allow upward movement of saltwater into the Dakota in their area of hydraulic connection or through improperly plugged or abandoned boreholes. Consequently, the eastern limit of the area where brine disposal was allowed in the Cedar Hills Sandstone aquifer was moved to the west by a moratorium regulation to reduce the likelihood of upward saltwater migration.
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