Salt contamination of soils is a serious environmental issue facing the oil and gas industry today according to many stripper well operators and state regulators. Salts such as sodium chloride from produced oilfield brine spills can completely devastate surrounding vegetation. The most common response is the application of gypsum and straw or manure. This ineffective, time consuming technique may take several remediation applications over a period of years making it very expensive when all costs, loss of soil use, and damages are considered. The problem lacks a suitable solution with the benefits of being rapid, simple, economical, dependable and environmentally safe. Today, there is much more emphasis on operating in an environmentally conscious manner than ever before.

The Phase I Stripper Well Consortium project developed a solution that offers a rapid and economical way to remediate salt damaged soils and enhance oil field aesthetics for new and old brine contaminated sites. The project involved a laboratory effort to evaluate the hypothesis which questioned whether a soil remediation product could be formulated to quickly remediate the sodium contamination from brine spills. The result was an affirmative response to the hypothesis. This SPE paper is about the Phase II field testing effort to verify the lab work, simplify field application for the customer’s benefit, and verify formulation dependability. Field testing was very successful with 10 out of 11 field tests or 91% showing positive results with rapid grass growth within 2 – 6 weeks after remediation. All sites had2 – 5 cm of rainfall during that period.

The major formulation constituents are a highly soluble calcium source, a proprietary multi-basic amendment and fertilizer that were mixed into the soil, all environmentally safe components. Native grass seed is planted and raked into the soil immediately after remediation. The field tests occurred in Oklahoma, Kansas and New York.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.