Application of an Area of Review Variance Methodology to the San Juan Basin, New Mexico


When the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Regulations were promulgated in 1980, existing Class II Injection wells operating at the time were excluded from Area of Review (AOR) requirements. EPA has expressed its intent to revise the regulations to include the requirement for AOR's for such wells, but it is expected that oil and gas producing states will be allowed to adopt a variance strategy for these wells. An AOR variance methodology has been developed under sponsorship of the American Petroleum Institute. The general concept of the variance methodology is a systematic evaluation of basic variance criteria that were agreed to by a Federal Advisory Committee. These criteria include absence of USDWs, lack of positive flow potential from the petroleum reservoir into the overlying USDWs, mitigating geological factors, and other evidence. The AOR variance methodology has been applied to oilfields in the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. This paper details results of these analyses, particularly with respect to the opportunity for variance for injection fields in the San Juan Basin.

Meeting Name

SPE/EPA Exploration & Production Environmental Conference (1995: Mar. 27-29, Houston, TX)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Injection (oil wells); Laws and legislation; Oil fields; Petroleum geology; Petroleum reservoirs; Area of review variance methodology; San Juan basin; Underground injection control; Petroleum reservoir evaluation

Geographic Coverage

New Mexico

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1995 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 1995