California Oil, Gas, and Groundwater Program

Publication: Data Releases


Year Published:

Publication Information:


Metzger, L.F., Morris, D., and Watson, E.


U.S. Geological Survey data release



This digital dataset contains historical geochemical and other information for 200 samples of produced water from 182 sites in 25 oil fields in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, southern California. Produced water is a term used in the oil industry to describe water that is produced as a byproduct along with the oil and gas. The locations from which these historical samples have been collected include 152 wells. Well depth and (or) perforation depths are available for 114 of these wells. Sample depths are available for two additional wells in lieu of well or perforation depths. Additional sample sites include four storage tanks, and two unidentifiable sample sources. One of the storage tank samples (Dataset ID 57) is associated with a single identifiable well. Historical samples from other storage tanks and unidentifiable sample sources may also represent pre- or post-treated composite samples of produced water from single or multiple wells. Historical sample descriptions provide further insight about the site type associated with some of the samples. Twenty-four sites, including 21 wells, are classified as "injectate" based on the sample description combined with the designated well use at the time of sample collection (WD, water disposal or WF, water flood). Historical samples associated with these sites may represent water that originated from sources other than the wells from which they were collected. For example, samples collected from two wells (Dataset IDs 86 and 98) include as part of their description “blended and treated produced water from across the field”. Historical samples described as formation water (45 samples), including 38 wells with a well type designation of OG (oil/gas), are probably produced water, representing a mixture of formation water and water injected for enhanced recovery. A possible exception may be samples collected from OG wells prior to the onset of production. Historical samples from four wells, including three with a sample description of "formation water", were from wells identified as water source wells which access groundwater for use in the production of oil. The numerical water chemistry data were compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from scanned laboratory analysis reports available from the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM). Sample site characteristics, such as well construction details, were attributed using a combination of information provided with the scanned laboratory analysis reports and well history files from CalGEM Well Finder. The compiled data are divided into two separate data files described as follows: 1) a summary data file identifying each site by name, the site location, basic construction information, and American petroleum Institute (API) number (for wells), the number of chemistry samples, period of record, sample description, and the geologic formation associated with the origin of the sampled water, or intended destination (formation into which water was to intended to be injected for samples labeled as injectate) of the sample; and 2) a data file of geochemistry analyses for selected water-quality indicators, major and minor ions, nutrients, and trace elements, parameter code and (or) method, reporting level, reporting level type, and supplemental notes. A data dictionary was created to describe the geochemistry data file and is provided with this data release.