Before 2012, water management for unconventional oil and gas plays was in its infancy and was trying to keep up with operations. Today, many of the initial challenges have been resolved but new challenges persist. What does the future hold for water in the US onshore unconventional plays?

Today, water management in unconventionals continues to progress. Reuse for subsequent wells in the Permian is reported to average about 30% according to B3 Insight. Many larger companies report over 50% reuse in the Permian, including Apache, Chevron, Pioneer, and Coterra.

The continued growth of water networks in most basins has reduced water trucking and allowed more flexibility for reuse or disposal. Water midstream companies are now consistently treating and delivering produced water for reuse. These larger networks are efficiently moving water and avoiding the problems of isolated operations. (From JPT, Society of Petroleum Engineers)


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