OGF Article Permian: Treating Produced Water for Discharge Reduces Injection

Stephen Whitfield, Senior

SPE.org 

As oil production in the Permian Basin continues to rise, the consequent rise in produced water volumes is placing a financial squeeze on operators in the region. Figuring out what to do with this water is a challenge every operator faces. Given the potential seismicity and capacity issues surrounding saltwater disposal, reusing that water has become a viable solution for reducing costs and limiting water-sourcing constraints—last year Wood Mackenzie estimated a potential savings range from $1.00 to $2.50 per barrel. However, another solution could provide additional relief: treating water for discharge, effectively creating fresh water that can be used for irrigation and uses in other industries. As oil production in the Permian Basin continues to rise, the consequent rise in produced water volumes is placing a financial squeeze on operators in the region.