It is becoming increasingly challenging to deal with water issues that exist in oil and natural gas development in unconventional shale reservoirs. The results obtained from the analysis of historical data reports high rate of recoverable oil using current technologies. The future techniques can also be tweaked in such a way that it will become much more sustainable
Fremont, CA: The water obtained as a byproduct of oil production from unconventional reservoirs can be used to theoretically counter the hydraulic fracturing operations in many large oil-producing areas. Even if the intention of recycling this water for using in other industries, such as agriculture exists, it is advised otherwise. The water obtained as a byproduct possesses grave quality issues, and a potential cost to get it treated is higher. The Studies conducted by researchers of Texas, Austin, on the aforementioned topic mainly deal with the reuse of water in hydraulic fracturing.
It is becoming increasingly challenging to deal with water issues that exist in oil and natural gas development in unconventional shale reservoirs. Significant amount of water is necessary for hydraulically fracturing shales to produce oil and natural gas, causing an issue in regions with water scarcity. In such cases, water is brought up from reservoirs in large quantities as a byproduct of production, posing a new set of challenges related to the management of produced water. The option of pumping it back into the deep subsurface is hazardous and can cause seismic activities in various regions.
The research focuses on eight major regions across the United States, which are Permian, Barnett, Bakken, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, Haynesville, Marcellus, and Niobrara plays. Projections were made to these plays using the historical data available from 2009 to 2017. The results obtained from the analysis of historical data reports high rate of recoverable oil using current technologies. The future techniques can also be tweaked in such a way that it will become much more sustainable. The projections depicted that oil plats produced higher quantities of water than the natural gas plays, especially the Permian Basin, providing 50 times more water than the Marcellus in 2017.
The results show that the recycling potential for hydraulic fracturing in many cases is high, as there is plenty of water to be put into good use. By using lesser chemical additives and encouraging technology that is much sustainable, the process of water reuse in hydraulic fracturing can be optimized.
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