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Williams drops plans for disposal well near Bartonville

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Williams Production Co. officials announced Thursday that they have eliminated plans for a wastewater disposal well on a seven-acre site at Frenchtown and Jeter Roads in Bartonville/Argyle. 

The company said community feedback played a role in its decision to change direction. 

Officials said that the company is pursuing other means – including removal of water via truck and/or pipeline – to manage the produced water it may collect on the Argyle-area site. 

Williams also said it would continue evaluating the feasibility of an alternate location for the centralized infrastructure to support its Argyle-area natural gas development.

“Managing the water associated with natural gas production is part of developing new supplies of clean, domestic energy in areas such as the Barnett Shale,” said Kelly Swan, a spokesman for Williams. 

“Our goal is to appropriately address how best to get that done to support our natural gas production in the Argyle area.”

Williams’ initial plan included the disposal well, which it described as a safe, reliable and efficient means for produced-water management. It also required fewer tanks on property and would have virtually eliminated truck traffic associated with hauling water off the site, company officials said.

Williams has notified Bosque Disposal Systems of its change in plans for the site. Bosque, which is based in Glen Rose, earlier had applied to the Texas Railroad Commission for a permit to develop and operate a commercial disposal well on the property.

Project Background 
A gas gathering utility affiliated with Williams purchased the seven-acre property last year to accommodate the centralized infrastructure for Williams’ natural gas development in the Argyle area. 

The original plan included the disposal well, the installation of four compressors enclosed in sound-containment structures and the above-ground water-collection tanks.  

With the on-site disposal well, Williams would have injected its produced water into the ground to a 12,000-foot-deep rock formation that had naturally occurring water of comparable quality. 

Officials with Bartonville Water Supply Corp officially opposed the project, on the grounds that the wastewater would contaminate the area’s freshwater supply.  In addition, the towns of Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon and Double Oak have all passed resolutions supporting Bartonville Water’s opposition to the well.

The produced water could contain such toxins as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, according to the U.S. Department of Energy website.

Current Activity

Pipeline installations are scheduled to begin in the next few days at the Argyle-area site. The need for the pipeline segments on this site is independent of the ultimate location of the centralized infrastructure for compression and water collection, according to Williams officials. 

To date, Williams’ pipeline gathering business has cleared the Argyle-area site of two abandoned homes; preserved a vegetation barrier of trees and shrubbery around the perimeter; and installed a temporary sound wall.

Project Next Steps
In the absence of the disposal well on the Argyle site, Williams’ plans call for collecting produced water in above-ground tanks and daily transporting the water offsite to disposal wells it already uses elsewhere in the Barnett Shale.

Williams’ representatives said that they continue to evaluate the feasibility of alternate sites for the compressor and water-tank infrastructure to support the company’s natural gas production in the Argyle area.

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