RRC Shutters Gardendale Area Wells, Displacing ~4.5 million Barrels of Water Per Month

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By Sarah Willard

Last week, after a series of M3+ earthquakes, the RRC sent injection termination letters to 14 operators for 33 deep disposal wells within the 9-km Gardendale seismic response area (SRA) – 7 wells by December 15 and the remaining wells by December 31. Of those 33 wells, B3 data shows that 24 wells are actively accepting water disposal. The decision follows a September action mandating capacity reductions in the area, when the Railroad Commission (RRC) issued a Seismic Response Action (SRA) to the Gardendale area of the Midland Basin, potentially impacting water disposal for ~ 930,000 barrels of permitted capacity a day.

B3’s proprietary data show that nearly 4.5 million barrels per month are now displaced and require new disposal management plans (publicly available H-10 data, which can be up to a year old, report only 3.9m barrels per month of impact). Additionally, 50% of the affected, active wells have been injecting water for less than 4 years, posing a challenge to capital recovery for commercial facilities and affecting management plans for operator-owned wells.

The Culberson-Reeves area is already in the process of an operator-led response mandated by the RRC. The team at B3 is carefully monitoring the Stanton SIR.

By the Numbers 

– 14 operators and 33 well locations are impacted. 24 wells are active, 2 are inactive, and 7 are approved but show no indication the well has been drilled. The 24 active wells currently handle between ~4,700 and ~15,300 bpd.  

– 7 wells were shuttered on December 15 (6 active, 1 inactive). The remaining 26 well permits will be suspended on December 31.  

– 21% of the wells were required to halt injection on December 15, immediately unsettling plans for ~32k bpd or 1.14m barrels of water per month.  

– 50% of the affected, active wells that have been active for less than 4 years account for 3.3m barrels per month, which is 73% of the total impacted volume.

To learn more about SRAs and their impact on water management, contact us at [email protected] or 720-664-8517.

Sarah willard

Director of Marketing

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