Exploration and Production Technologies
NM WAIDS: A Produced-Water Quality and Infrastructure GIS Database for New Mexico Oil Production


This project was in response to DOE's solicitation DE-PS26-01BC15300, Identification and Demonstration of Preferred Upstream Management Practices II (PUMP II). The goal of the PUMP program was to encourage implementation of the most promising and environmentally protective technologies for optimizing oil recovery and to improve access to and sharing of data critical or necessary to several agencies/users/industries.

Project Goal
The goal of this project was to make a variety of information and data concerning produced water available to oil producers in southeast New Mexico via Internet technologies.

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Socorro, NM

Project Results
The project has resulted in creation of the NM WAIDS website, integrating a variety of water data, including chemistry, volumes, locations, and more. Most of this information is also available on CD. The web site address is http://octane.nmt.edu/ waterquality. 

For the first time, a variety of stakeholders can easily access a large volume of produced-water chemistry data for New Mexico oil wells. Produced water has assumed a much greater importance in the state due to the existence of drought and water shortages, the increasing costs of water disposal, and the recognition that better understanding of oilfield water chemistries can lead to early corrosion and scale management practices that can prevent costly downtime. Partly as a result of the availability of this data, a number of companies have become quite active pursuing more beneficial and environmentally sound methods of using produced water. The database has become a research tool for first-look assessments of where various methods might be most appropriately applied.

New Mexico produced 624,066,574 barrels of water in 2004 as a by-product of oil and gas production. Water production volumes have been going up every year. Ninety percent of that water is injected into deep wells for the purposes of secondary recovery, pressure maintenance, or disposal. Some of this water is reinjected directly, while other water is sent via pipeline to tanks or handling facilities. All parties involved in the production, transportation, sale, and regulation of oil in New Mexico were interested in having a better system to provide easy and timely access to produced-water information. Additionally, great interest in produced water has been shown by government, businesses, and state residents because of continued depletion and contamination of existing groundwater resources.

Regulatory agencies and oil and gas producers contacted in the outreach work conducted by New Mexico Tech's Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC) indicated a strong interest in and need for an accessible water and water infrastructure database in southeast New Mexico. A variety of groups working on produced-water treatment technologies also contacted the southwest Petroleum Technology Transfer Council in search of information and data concerning produced-water chemistry, produced water volumes, and groundwater data. Finally, producers and operators in the New Mexico Permian Basin were trying to gather more information about water-related scale and corrosion problems in the area. The NM WAIDS project was borne out of these needs and requests.

Project Summary
Although many operators and state agencies keep water data, much is difficult to access, only available on paper, and of questionable quality. Often the data is expressed in a variety of units, making comparisons difficult. A major part of this project centered on not simply acquiring data but converting it to digital format, supplementing fragmentary data from other sources, integrating a multitude of data types into a single database, and cleaning the data to provide a quality product.

This database is the centerpiece of a website devoted to the dissemination of information about New Mexico's produced-water resource. Enhancements include the scale prediction tool, map tools to determine distance of locations to nearby water bodies such as streams or lakes, depths to groundwater in certain areas, a corrosion management manual relevant to southeast New Mexico problems, and a number of reports, maps, and interpretations of the data. This information has also been made available on a CD that includes geographical information system (GIS) projects and a GIS-viewing program.

Among the project accomplishments are the:

  • Creation of a water-quality database containing over 7,000 entries of produced-water chemistry and 30,000 entries of groundwater data, including formations, depths, and chloride/total dissolved solids for New Mexico for produced-water analyses from a variety of sources.
  • Construction of a website allowing users access to this data via both text- and map-based queries. This website uses a GIS database and map server to integrate and display data from several sources. The web interface also allows users to move between this website and other PRRC websites devoted to production data and state land information.
  • Development of an easy-to-use, web-based scale prediction tool. This tool can run from user input data, or the user can select samples from the water analysis database and input the data into the tool.

Current Status (October 2005)
This project has been completed. The final report was submitted in May 2005. A CD containing the data, some reports, and the final report is available from PRRC.

A screen shot of the NM WAIDS website. This view is of the text interface search for the Produced Water Quality Database.

A screen shot of the ArcExplorer project included on the CD created for the project. This view shows locations of most of the produced- and groundwater-quality samples available in the database.

Cather, M.E., NM WAIDS: A Produced-Water Quality and Infrastructure GIS Database for New Mexico Oil Producers, annual report, Contract No. DE-FC26-02NT 15134, DOE, Washington, DC (March 2003, March 2004).

Cather, M.E., NM WAIDS: A Produced-Water Quality and Infrastructure GIS Database for New Mexico Oil Producers, final report, Contract No. DE-FC26-02NT 15134, DOE, Washington, DC (May 2005).

Project Start: March 1, 2002
Project End: February 28, 2005

Anticipated DOE Contribution Contribution: $276,149
Performer Contribution: $276,149 (50% of total)

Contact Information
NETL - Jessie Garcia (Jessie.garcia@netl.doe.gov or 918-699-2036)
New Mexico - Robert Lee (lee@prrc.nmt.edu or 505-835-5142)