Permian Basin 2018

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PERMIAN BASIN: TECHNOLOGY 44 | October 2018 | as soon as we would start the flowback process the flowback water would now have 60,000 to 76,000 parts per million of chlorides and other dissolved minerals. Think about it; we would inject 350,000 to 400,000 barrels of water containing 2,000 to 3,000 parts per million chlorides and the return water was 60,000 to 76,000 parts per million chlo- rides. To dissolve that amount of minerals within the formation, then our fracture system that we spent good money to create has become unstable, releasing formation fines into propped fractures and plugging what little permeability you devel- oped in the unpropped fractures. Using compatible produced water is the key to making better wells and it cut our well cost by approximately $1 million to $1.5 million per well." Approach's plant is located right in the mid- dle of its contiguous lease hold. Every horizontal location has six pipelines buried in a corridor—one oil gathering line, one low-pressure gas gathering line, one high-pressure gas lift and miscible flood gas supply line, and three water lines (one for pro- duced water coming back to the facility, one for low chloride water going to sites for future makeup water and one for recycled water going to the new well sites). "We can deliver water to a frack site at rates up to 90 barrels per minute though over pipeline network. We bring all water into this facility," Craft said. "We clean it, capture any free hydrocarbons, then move it to our aboveground 329,000 barrel storage tanks. From there we can blend the water to bench specific specifications, filter the water through a five-micron filter system, treat for new bacteria using chlorine dioxide or another sterilization process. Once this is complete we can send it to the frack sites. If we are not stimulating new wells we can send it to our company-owned SWD [saltwater disposal] facili- ties located throughout our acreage. It has really been the foundation of our low-cost structure, both drilling and completions and LOE." In 2015, Approach received the Bruno Hansen award in the Permian for its water recycling sys- tem. Now, many producers either have their own system or can contract with one of the many water recycling companies. The facility and the pipelines are 100% owned by Approach. "I wish I had more produced water—we don't," Craft said. "The water in the Wolfcamp Forma- tion in our area of the basin for the most part is non-moveable, so you only get what you put in. Typically, a well will be fracked with 50% recycled water or higher, if we have it. I wish I could do 100%, but I just don't have it." Bits, plugs and more Permian drilling offers challenges that can prove most extreme in the cases of deep wells with long lateral sections. Severe conditions often are quick to expose the weakest link in the chain—that usu- ally falls on PDC bits. Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) recognized that problem as one both time consuming and costly to its customers. Lessons learned forged the idea for the Dynamus extended- life drillbit, which combines a series of innovations into a fast, rugged and reliable package that offers The water recycling system is an integral part of Approach Resources' plan for sustainable, environmentally sound asset development. (Photo courtesy of Approach Resources)

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