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What are Injection Wells?

Injection wells first became widespread during the 1930s, where they were used to store brine that was created during oil production. In the 1950s, chemical companies began to use these wells to store hazardous industrial refuse. While injection wells have been used to dispose of pollutants in the Earth, they have also been used to store carbon dioxide, preventing more of this greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere.

Injection wells are used for the underground storage of fluids in porous geologic formations. In this method, a steel pipe of 5,000 feet or more is cemented into a drilled hole. After several tests, the fluid is injected into the well and repeated periodically. In the American state of California, 52,000 wells are used by the oil and gas industry.

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Other Sources

California Department of Conservation. “Oil, Gas & Geothermal – Injection Wells.” California Department of Conservation. http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dog/general_information/Pages/class_injection_wells.aspx. Accessed August 9, 2016.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. “General Information About Injection Wells.” EPA. https://www.epa.gov/uic/general-information-about-injection-wells. Accessed August 9, 2016.