Acid can be used to clean up old wells in an attempt to increase production. The term Acid Job is common out in the field. Say a wells production has declined over time; a service company would come in suggest a treatment plan that could increase the wells production. Acid is usually a key ingredient to the fluid thats pumped into the hole. The total amount of treatment fluid pumped into the hole is calculated by the barrel. Once the fluid is pumped into the hole or also known as formation, they may allow it to sit there anywhere from one hour to several days. In order to bring the well back into production, its important that the fluid be flushed out of the hole. At this point they begin swabbing the hole in an attempt to bring as much of the treatment fluid back to service as possible. They drop a plunger with a line to the bottom of the hole and come up out of the hole, repeating the process until the well kicks off (starts blowing) or they can no longer recover any additional treatment fluid. The recovered treatment fluid is usually directed to a hole that has been dug into the ground with the ground eventually absorbing it. While you wouldnt want to stick a bare hand in the fluid thats been recovered, its not nearly as potent as it was in its original state. I doubt that the recovery fluid would be potent enough to cause serious damage to flesh and bone.
Acid is also used to perforate casing. Casing is the outer pipe that goes into the hole. Figure that once all the casing is in the hole, in order to bring oil or gas to surface, that casing must have some holes in it that correlate with the production formation. This is when they place a gun down the hole that shoots off the mixture that will open holes in the casing at the production intervals.
These chemicals are usually under lock and key at the service companys yard and also monitored. Its doubtful SA had access to these chemicals unless he had the assistance of someone, which I also feel is doubtful. One never knows though. I am sure LE has asked for inventory and accountability of the chemicals at the place SA worked. Not to say he couldnt have acquired them elsewhere though.
There is a lot of oil and gas production in the area that composes of several counties. There are a lot of county roads, back roads, etc. as well. Working in the business going from well to well, one can learn those roads, shortcuts, etc. very quickly. Many wells are off the grid and one must know where to go in order to get to them. Many well locations may contain open holes that havent been covered up. While most land owners make sure thats not the case, it still does occur. Many locations have old abandoned tanks. These tanks can be anywhere from 15 feet high and up. While a person could not enter the tank from the top, there is a space on the bottom of the tank towards the back that is secured by several bolts and screws. This door is opened up when the tank is empty so people can crawl inside to clean, maintain, etc.
Cell phone coverage varies and is sparse in many places. I carry a satellite phone at all times because of this.
I am hopeful LE has/is conducting the following:
1. Asking Weaver Services (and other service companys) for an account of their fluid inventory and who has access to it.
2. Obtaining a log from SAs employers for the past couple years or so detailing each and every well site he worked on and that they (LE) are actively searching each and every one of those well sites along with the roads leading to those sites. Traveling those roads one will see old abandoned buildings, stock tanks, caliche pits, old style outhouses, drain pipes, etc.
All these and more should be searched. Over time by traveling these roads, SA could have discovered what he felt was the ideal hiding place.