Aqueous Rare Earth Element Patterns and Concentration in Thermal Brines Associated with Oill and Gas Production


This study is part of a joint effort by the University of Wyoming (UW) School of Energy Resources (SER), the UW Engineering Department, Idaho National Laboratories (INL), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to describe rare earth element concentrations in oil and gas produced waters and in coal-fired power station ash ponds. In this work we present rare earth element (REE) and trace metal behavior in produced water from four Wyoming oil and gas fields and surface ash pond water from two coal-fired power stations. Using the methods of the INL team members, we measured REEs in high salinity oil and gas produced waters. Our results show that REEs exist as a dissolved species in all waters measured for this project, typically within the parts per trillion range.

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DOE Project Name: Assessing rare earth element concentrations in geothermal and oil and gas produced waters: A potential domestic source of strategic mineral commodities
DOE Project Number: EE0007603
DOE Project Lead: Holly Thomas
Last Updated: over a year ago
Data from February, 2017
Submitted Jun 14, 2017


University of Wyoming



Publicly accessible License 


Charles Nye
University of Wyoming
Scott Quillinan
University of Wyoming
Ghanashyam Neupane
Idaho National Labaoratory
Travis McLing
Idaho National Laboratory


geothermal, energy, Rare earth elements, geochemistry, produced water, brine, oil and gas, REE, trace metal, coal, concentration, coproduced


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