Fortuna Energy held a public meeting at the Van Etten High School auditorium near Spencer, NY on Wednesday March 4th regarding their plans to test water injection into the Mallula #1 well in Chemung County. The company plans to test the water storage capabilities of the well and target formation.
Fortuna engineers on hand said the 9.500 foot deep test well is a currently a gas well in the Trenton Black River Formation that is nearing the end of production. Fortuna plans to inject an initial 2,000 gallons of Brine water into the formation and test water pressure levels over the course of a month.
The engeneers explained that the level of drop in water pressure over time will indicate the ultimate storage capacity of the formation, and if the pressure drops to an acceptable level after a month the company will repeat the injection process to perform further testing.
The company expects initial down-hole water pressures of approximately 5000 PSI. The Engineers explained that the 5000 PSI required is indeed comparable to the pressures used in Hydraulic Fracturing of the Marcellus Shale, however the Trenton Black River geologic formation is such that pressures greater than 50,000 psi would be needed to rupture the target zone. The company also expressed their confidence that there is no possibly of underground migration of the water and that proper testing and bonding would be performed.
The company says that if successful, they currently plan to inject only produced Brine water from Trenton Black River wells and not used “frac water” from Marcellus Shale operations, although they said it was possible they could choose to do so in the future. The company said it is also planning to test an injection well in northern Pennsylvania, but noted that except for these few areas, the vast majority of geology in the region is not favorable to water storage.