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Organic compounds in produced waters from the Bakken Formation and Three Forks Formation in the Williston Basin, North Dakota

March 13, 2020

The organic composition of produced waters (flowback and formation waters) from the middle member of the Bakken Formation and the Three Forks Formation in the Williston Basin, North Dakota were examined to aid in the remediation of surface contamination and help develop treatment methods for produced-water recycling. Twelve produced water samples were collected from the Bakken and Three Forks Formations and analyzed for non-purgeable 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 400 micrograms per liter (µg/L), and included polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenolic compounds, glycol ethers, and cyclic ketones. While the limited number of samples, varying well production age, and lack of knowledge of on-going well treatments complicate conclusions, this report aids adds to the limited knowledge of organics in produced waters from the Bakken and Three Forks Formations.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Organic compounds in produced waters from the Bakken Formation and Three Forks Formation in the Williston Basin, North Dakota
DOI 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03590
Authors Matthew S. Varonka, Tanya Gallegos, Anne L. Bates, Colin A. Doolan, William H. Orem
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Heliyon
Series Number
Index ID 70209141
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Energy Resources Science Center