Playbooks Supplements

Water Management Techbook 2017

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28 | May 2017 | WATER MANAGEMENT: TECHNOLOGY capacity of up to 10,000 bbl/d. The system is designed to reduce operating costs, frack completion costs and water disposal costs, he said. Conventional, unconventional water disposal In 2010 operators were typically using about 50,000 bbl to 70,000 bbl of water for each U.S. shale well fracturing operation. Today many fracturing oper- ations are using more than 500,000 bbl/well. At the same time, produced water volumes from existing wells are rising, creating many challenges for opera- tors around total water management. Produced water from conventional and uncon- ventional wells often is considered waste and sent to deep-well disposal, but large volumes of these waters also can be reused in EOR and fracturing operations. "Water is clearly a central theme for operators, largely because of the changes in fracturing tech- nology requiring increased frack fluid volumes to enhance well productivity," said Rockwater Energy Solutions CEO Holli Ladhani. David Stuart, Rockwater vice president of oper- ations, added, "Water treatment methods can vary depending on the basin, the quality of the produced water and the intended use of the treated water (i.e., frack reuse, EOR and disposal). We consider technol- ogies that will allow us to adapt to those variations in water qualities and deliver conditioned water to meet the specifications required for its reuse. "For example, our water treatment services for frack reuse are designed to remove contaminants that can be detrimental to not only the frack fluid but also may cause damage to the formation. In those cases, our treatment services might include removal of organics, suspended solids and metals." It is most often not necessary to remove dissolved solids or salts from these produced waters because these components already are native to the formation. "Simple filtration often is used to remove large to medium suspended solids. We also utilize an elec- tro-oxidation technology called Neohydro, which helps destabilize and remove those fine suspended solids while oxidizing metals and hydrocarbons that can be problematic for reuse purposes. In addition, we have a selection of biocide treatment options for bacteria management," Stuart said. Better types of water quality One trend within oil and gas water management is to move toward alternative types of water to replace or minimize the use of potable water. These sources could be subsurface saline water, produced water or affluent water. "The technologies that TETRA has developed are to help the customers use those types of water at a lower possible cost with no impact on the stimula- tion operations," said Barry Donaldson, global vice president of sales and marketing for TETRA Tech- nologies Inc. "At TETRA we don't believe that one type of treatment fits all, and every water is a little bit different. We don't have a box-type approach. We look at the most economical applications to get that water fit-for-purpose." The company does use some of the older tech- nology such as filtration. "We are looking at more efficient and more economical types of filtration. We have multiple types of biocide. We have just intro- duced a new separation technology called ORAPT [oil recovery after production technology] to remove oil from produced water," he said. Scott Richie, North American product line man- ager for water management for TETRA, explained that the transfer of water can result in unintended consequences when an operator is using alternative water sources. "From the beginning of the job, we're engineering customized solutions for each transfer. We start with a site survey where we physically inspect the site and Oilfield water treatment can involve any number of technologies depending on the incoming water conditions—from filtration to electro-oxidation, which is used on this location in Pecos, Texas, by Rockwater. (Photo courtesy of Rockwater Energy Solutions)

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