Disposal of the liquid wastes generated during extraction of unconventional oil and gas resources in North America is increasingly becoming a constraint to development. Currently, the bulk of these wastes is disposed of by injection into deep bedrock formations. In certain development areas, the presence of suitable disposal formations is scarce, or disposal operations are difficult to site given area constraints. To address this challenge, a process of identifying high-value disposal targets (i.e., formations and locations) was developed using a combination of hydrogeological principles, multicriteria analysis, and geospatial mapping. This paper outlines the process developed to identify potential disposal targets to support oil sand development in Alberta and the results obtained.

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