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Organic Analysis of Oilfield Wastewater from the Williston Basin, North Dakota

January 6, 2020

The organic composition of produced waters (flowback and formation waters) from the Bakken Formation and the Three Forks Formation in the Williston Basin, North Dakota were examined in this study in order to aid in the remediation of surface contamination due to spills during transport and help develop treatment methods for recycling. Twelve produced water samples were collected from wells in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations at the well head and analyzed for non-purgable dissolved organic carbon (NPDOC), acetate, and extractable hydrocarbons. NPDOC and acetate concentrations from sampled wells from ranged from 33-190 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and 16-40 mg/L, respectively. Concentrations of individual extractable hydrocarbon compounds ranged from less than 1 to greater than 450 micrograms per liter (ug/L), and included polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenolic compounds, glycol ethers, and cyclic ketones.