McGrain, Preston Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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Waters of varying mineral content which are found associated with petroleum and natural gas or have been encountered in the search for oil and gas. They are also called oil-field brines, or brines. They include a variety of underground waters, usually deeply buried, and have a relatively high content of dissolved mineral matter. These waters may be (1) present in the pore space of the reservoir rock with the oil or gas, (2) separated by gravity from the oil or gas and thus lying below it, (3) at the edge of the oil or gas accumulation, or (4) in rock formations which are barren of oil and gas. Brines are commonly defined as water containing high concentrations of dissolved salts. Potable or freshwaters usually are not considered oil-field waters but may be encountered, generally at shallow depths, in areas where oil and gas are produced.
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