Playbooks Supplements

Water Management Techbook 2017

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20 | May 2017 | WATER MANAGEMENT: BEST PRACTICES place in water-strapped locales. Consequently, in the rush to exploit unconventional resources, the inter- ests of business and corporate citizenship converge to drive operational efficiencies. "The most important consideration in water dis- posal plans is to assure protection of public water sources, without question, Capper said. "This trumps all other considerations. Fortunately, disposal wells are very good at fulfilling this role. For operators, cost control will always be a close second. For disposal programs, this means getting your transportation costs under control—preferably piping water where you can, as opposed to trucking. This will also cut down on health, safety and environmental exposures like greenhouse gas emissions and the like." According to Schlumberger's Jess Lee, well ser - vices chemistry portfolio manager, water accounts for about 35%, or about $7.3 billion, of total costs of hydraulic fracturing. That figure arises from the cost to complete the full water cycle of transporting water to location, adding chemistry for fracturing fluid, performing the fracture, flowing the well back and transportation to a treatment or disposal site. Transportation in the form of trucks moving fresh and produced water between source, treatment and disposal sites accounts for more than half of the water costs. Large numbers of heavy water haul- ers also significantly impact nearby infrastructure and pose environmental risks associ- ated with moving large vol- umes of contaminated water through public areas. Traditionally, because the chemicals in water produced from fractured wells pose a threat to equipment, flowlines and the formation, operators have long had little practical choice but to pump it down disposal wells or recondition it for agricultural or industrial use. Seeking ways to minimize overall costs of hydraulic frac- turing operations, operators have begun to turn to water recycling produced water, including water used to cre- ate fracturing fluids, which returns to the surface after all stages of a well have been frac- tured and the well opened to flow. This so-called flowback water contains chemi- cals used in the fracturing fluid and hydrocarbons and other elements from the formation. To prepare produced water for recycling, technicians in mobile laboratories first determine its chemical makeup. Of special interest are elements that can cause corrosion or scale, bacteria that can impact fracture fluid per- formance and substances that can plug pore throats and restrict production. Based on their analysis, they then design a system to condition the water to be compatible with the fracture fluid to be used on the next well and with the formation to be treated. Because multiple wells are drilled and stimulated from a single location or pad, this method not only reduces the need for a continuing source of freshwater but because the treat- ment systems are deployed on location, it eliminates much of the transportation and storage portion of the water cycle. In the Permian Basin, an operator seeking to recy- cle water for multiple hydraulic fracturing operations used Baker Hughes H2prO water treatment service to design a system to neutralize hydrogen sulfide and bacteria. The operator used 3,400 bbl of treated water Based on 2015 IHS data, the hydraulic fracturing water expenditures for North America land were an estimated $7.3 billion—with transportation costs contributing 55%. (Image courtesy of Schlumberger) $7.3 billion -35% of frac cost

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