California’s new underground injection rules go into effect Apr. 1

California’s new underground injection requirements will affect some 55,000 underground injection control (UIC) wells when they go into effect on Apr. 1, the state’s Department of Conservation (DOC) reported. It said the new rules affect wells that inject water or steam for enhanced oil recovery, along with wells that return produced water back to its source.

California’s new underground injection requirements will affect some 55,000 underground injection control (UIC) wells when they go into effect on Apr. 1, the state’s Department of Conservation (DOC) reported. It said the new rules affect wells that inject water or steam for enhanced oil recovery, along with wells that return produced water back to its source.

DOC said that key elements in the new UIC regulations include:

• Stronger testing requirements designed to identify potential leaks.

• Increased data requirements to assure proposed projects are fully evaluated.

• Continuous well pressure monitoring.

• Requirements to automatically cease injection when there is a risk to safety or the environment.

• Monitoring for seismic activity.

• Requirements to disclose chemical additives.

A third category of UIC wells—those used for underground gas storage—is covered by separate regulations, DOC said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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