Managing Water in
Unconventional Resource Plays
Oklahoma Water Survey Workshop on
Oil & Gas Operations and Protecting Water Resources
October 25, 2012
October 25, 2012 2Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
WATER MANAGEMENT EVOLUTION
• Surface Discharge
– Salt Creek & Elk Basin (1920s)
– Black Warrior Basin (1989)
– Powder River Basin CBM (1990s)
• Reuse/Recycling of PW
– Barnett Shale (2001)
– Marcellus (2009)
– Powder River Basin CBM (2001)
– Barnett Shale (2002/2008)
– San Juan Basin (2003)
– Woodford Shale (2008)
– San Ardo (2008)
– Piceance Basin (2009)
– Fayetteville Shale (2009)
– Eagle Ford (2011)
October 25, 2012 3Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
October 25, 2012 5Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Good Ideas Don't Just Happen
• Good innovative solutions require
experience, planning, monitoring,
analysis, and continuous improvement.
• Some solutions evolve because of
roadblocks to more common solutions:
– First Nation's Concerns (Horn River)
– Surface water shortages (Bakken &
– Environmental Conditions (Shublik &
– Groundwater Limitations (Haynesville &
• Water Management Planning is
October 25, 2012 6Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Water: An Array of Considerations
• Logistics: Methods for transporting water and resultant wastes
can carry wide variations in costs, liabilities, resource
production, manpower, community relations, and environmental
• Sourcing: Choosing options for sourcing that is best suited to a
particular play or region is critical.
• Storage: A key aspect to the feasibility of many options,
especially for groundwater, reuse/recycling, blending, etc.
• Treatment: Treatment adds costs and creates waste. To use
treatment, economic thresholds must be achieved.
• Disposal/Reuse: Options are generally driven by the character
of a play or region.
• Compliance/Monitoring: Critical aspect of managing water!
October 25, 2012 7Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Fresh Water Facts
• Relative Use: Most discussion of water includes little in the
way of relative use or actual cumulative impacts relative to
• Comparative Use: Most unconventional plays will amount
to a fraction of one (1) percent of overall uses in a region.
• Availability: Access to fresh water (surface or groundwater)
is generally preferred as it is most desired by landowners (in
general), offers adequate capacity, is the least expensive
option, and offers the best results for drilling & fracturing.
• Alternatives: Other options often do not provide the same
results and are more expensive - thus decreasing economic
October 25, 2012 8Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Recycling in Shale Plays
• Recycling: In several areas, water recycling "may" be critical to
acquiring ample water for drilling and fracturing (although
justification can vary).
• Challenges: Water produced after fracturing often contains high
levels of bacteria, metals, and salt compounds that present
challenges for reuse.
• Treatment: Treating high levels of bacteria as well as corrosion
and scale inducing constituents has been employed to facilitate
reuse of produced water starting from about 2008 in the
Woodford and Fayetteville Shale areas.
• Blending: Prior efforts were generally limited to settling, fresh
water blending, and filtration (as early as ~2001). However, this
approach requires greater quantities off chemical additives.
October 25, 2012 9Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Variability in Water Definitions
October 25, 2012 10Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
• Traffic and Routing
• Disposal Well
• HF Chemical
• Multi-Well Pads
• Air Emissions Control
• Urban Development
• HF Chemical
• Water Sourcing
• Water Management
• Well Completions
• Impoundment Siting
October 25, 2012 11Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
October 25, 2012 12Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Barnett Shale Recycling
• Devon Energy is currently using a
Distillation/Evaporation System in the Ft. Worth
Barnett Shale Area.
– 2,500 BBL/day throughput with 2,000 BBL/day
of Fresh Water produced.
• Chesapeake installed four Water Evaporation
Units at the Brentwood SWD Facility in Fort
– Employs natural process of evaporation to turn
water into water vapor.
• Less technical methods were employed starting
in the early 2000s, but required considerable
settling time, fresh water blending, and filtration.
October 25, 2012 13Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Fayetteville Shale Water Recycling
• Water quality in the Fayetteville is
exceptional, ranging in the 20,000
to 35,000 mg/L TDS range (very
high quality water compared to
many shale basins).
• Companies like SWN have pilot
tested more than 100 different
treatment alternatives, with bacteria
being a major priority.
• Companies like Ecosphere have
had success, but continue to deal
with challenges (which is common).
October 25, 2012 14Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Horn River Basin GW Cycling
• First Nation's concerns over use of
surface water resources in the area has
lead Apache/Encana to pursue brackish
water from the DeBolt Aquifer.
• Water from the DeBolt (500-1,000 meters)
is brackish (15,000-40,000 mg/L TDS)
and sour (65 mg/L H2S).
• A $60 million treatment plant was built to
sweeten water for use in HF.
• Produced water after HF is re-injected
back to the brackish DeBolt aquifer.
• Capacity of the DeBolt to fully meet drilling
and completion demands for water is
2011 CAPP Environmental Awward
Challenges: isolated location; lack
of disposal option; limited access
roads; lack of power; and harsh
October 25, 2012 15Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Misissippi-LM Water Sourcing
• Water sourcing can be challenging
in the MLP. Drought has impacted
surface water sources and
restrictions have arisen in some
• Fresh water costs of $0.25/BBL are
common (far less than treatment).
• Common water sourcing options
have been fresh water from creeks,
farm ponds, impoundments, and the
blending of water captured during
the flowback process.
• Groundwater combined with cycling
is an option for the MLP as the play
October 25, 2012 16Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Water composition overall is less than ALL has previously reported for shale gas plays because development
efforts like the Niobrara and Eagle Ford use higher ratios of gel, which increases the gel composition compared
to water composition. Overall, water composition as a percentage has increased since 2008 and the number of
additives used has decreased within individual plays (ALL Consulting, 2012).
October 25, 2012 17Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
The Future of Shale…
• To fully develop US shales, something on the order of 1-2 million additional
wellbores will be needed. This will NOT be easy! We can expect:
− Increased use of brackish/saline water
− Increased use of treatment technologies
− Multi-well fluid management pits/impoundments
− Centralized facilities and overland piping of produced water
− and much more...
• Several sources suggest that US oil production could rise 50-75% over the
next 10 years, causing imports to drop to 5%.
• Another study suggests the shale gas boom will account for ~1.5 million new
jobs by 2015 (June 2012) – including recognition of the current downturn in
• Some economists expect cumulative investments of ~$3.2 trillion from 2012
October 25, 2012 18Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
• Fresh water is often the most economically
• Drought doesn't necessarily mean water
shortage. GW in the EF is plentiful and
landowners are getting long-term access to
this resource becauuse of industry activity.
• Water is complex and varies dramatically by
play, production period, within plays, etc.
• Seemingly small issues can create large
issues (e.g., bicarbonates can create
problems with HF).
• Use of brackish/saline water or treatment
must compete economically with the use of
fresh water resources AND align with
October 25, 2012 19Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
The Deadly Facts About
Over consumption can cause
excessive sweating, urination,
and even death!
100% of all serial kills, rapists
and drug dealers have admitted
to drinking water!
Water is one of the primary
ingredients to herbicides and
Water is the leading cause of
100% of all people exposed to
water will die!
Arthur, J.D. , Layne, M., Wilson, P. (ALL Consulting). “Evolution and
Economics of Managing Water in Unconventional Resource Plays”.
Presented at the Oklahoma Water Survey Workshop on Oil & Gas
Operations and Protecting Water Resources October 25, 2012.
J. Daniel Arthur, P.E., SPEC
Water Resource Consultant
1718 S. Cheyenne Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74119
October 25, 2012 20Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Did You Know?
Well Construction (in British Columbia - Horn River
Total depth of 14,100 ft with a 5,750 ft horizontal section.
682,675 lbs of steel or 341.34 tons of cement, which
weights 860,461 lbs.
The combined total weight of the steel and cement is:
1,543,136 lbs./771.6 tons
Production Casing has a min. tensile strength of
125,000 psi and a burst pressure of 12,635 psi.
Nine barriers comprised of alternating cement and steel,
separate the well from groundwater with a combined
thickness of 10.5 inches, 5 layers of steel equal to 1.89
inches and 4 layers of cement equal to 8.61 inches
Typical well casing has yield strength of over 80,000 psi
and tensile strength of over 95,000 psi.
Projected Annual Average:
HRB on average (last 2 years) has construction that
increased over 200% per year, thus assuming 300 new
shale gas wells per year:
Every year, 46,448.4 tons steel and 129,000 tons of
cement are used to construct the average 300 HRB wells
• On average, one car contains 1,800 lbs of steel
• Eiffel Tower 7,300 tons of iron
• CN Tower, 117,910 metric tonnes or 130,000 tons
• One mile of four lane interstate highway contains
155.65 tons of steel and 1,245 tons cement
• Blast resistant structures used in bank vaults and
military operations often have walls about 6 inches
thick with compression strength exceeding 14,500
• To reduce Gamma ray intensity in half (halving
thickness) one needs 2.4 inches of concrete or
0.99 inches of steel.
• The steel in one well equals 379.3 cars
• The steel in 21.4 wells equals one Eiffel Tower
• The combined steel and cement (by weight) in
168.5 wells equals one CN tower
• It would take the cement (m3) in 194.6 wells to
equal the cement in the CN tower
• One well has enough steel for 2.19 miles of
interstate, and enough cement for 0.34 miles.
• Annually the steel in 300 HRB wells is equal to
298.4 miles of interstate highway and the cement
equals 103 miles of interstate.
• The tensile strength of the well casing is capable
of suspending one fully loaded semi-truck and
trailer or three city buses.
October 25, 2012 21Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
• Deep horizontal
• High volume hydraulic
• 3-D Seismic Analysis
• Multi-well drilling pads
• Water sourcing and
• Impact mitigation
October 25, 2012 23Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
24October 25, 2012 24Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Bakken Brackish Water Test
• EERC partnered with Hess to pilot test
the use of reverse osmosis (RO)
treatment on brackish water from the
Dakota Aquifer (~10,000 mg/L TDS).
• Site located near Tioga at an existing
water production well used for EOR.
• GE Water Process and Technologies was
contracted to provide the RO treatment.
• Currently at ~70% efficiency with
permeate production at 80-160 gpm.
• The Dakota Aquifer is also the main
disposal zone in the region, making water
Source UNDEERC (2012)
October 25, 2012 25Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
Eagle Ford and Water Recycling
• The Eagle Ford Shale is the most active shale play in the world with
approximately 250 rigs running. It is unique due to the that it is a
formation rich in oil and natural gas fields. The oil reserves are
estimated at 3 billion barrels with potential output of 420,000 barrels a
• Although recycling pilots are ongoing (Purestream, ecosphere,
Fountain Quail, and others), the economics don't currently make sense
considering abundant fresh water - even considering drought
• Many new SWDs and waste management facilities have been built
and are continuing to be built to address waste/wastewater disposal
• Many new water supply wells have been drilled and continue to be in
order to meet water sourcing demands.
October 25, 2012 26Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting
The Ongoing Learning Process
• Water use can vary considerably by play.
• Water use for fracturing is disclosed.
• The data submitted to FracFocus provides
access to data that was not previously
available throughout most of the country.
• Water sourcing options vary by play and
although average comparisons can be made,
the range of water quantities used can very
– Area of the play
– Service Company
– Completions Engineer
• Generalization should be used with caution.
Average Volume of Water Used Per
(In Million Gallons)
Source: ALL Consulting
October 25, 2012 27Copyright (c) 2012 ALL Consulting