JPT Water Management

SPE.org 

Understanding and prioritizing water management is key for exploration-and-production operators, not only in terms of reducing overall cost and capital expenditures but also as a means of mitigating operational risk, complying with changing regulatory requirements, and addressing environmental concerns. Water-management decisions within shale oil and gas production fall into three primary categories: water acquisition, water usage within hydraulic-fracturing operations, and the disposal of produced and flowback waters from drilling and production. Shale-fracturing flowback refers to the portion of injected hydraulic-fracturing fluids that returns to the surface before and during initial production. The large quantities of flowback and formation water generated during the fracturing process must be treated before recycling, beneficial reuse, or disposal. Shale produced water typically refers to water produced during the production phase of the shale wells in the longer term and has significantly lower flow rates and more-consistent quality than flowback water.