Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The case for water management solutions beyond disposal

PWS vice-president Steve Coffee asserts that the industry must continue to push for greater reuse and recycling of produced water

With everything going on in our world today, why do we need to think about recycling/reusing produced water? A look at conditions in New Mexico can provide some clear and compelling arguments:

  • Saltwater disposal (SWD) is pressuring up the San Andreas formation
  • Once the San Andreas is oversaturated, the next option is the Ellenberger, which is a deeper formation and thus entails drilling much more expensive SWD wells
  • Produced water generation is outpacing disposal capacity in the New Mexico Delaware Basin
  • Freshwater for frac operations is a scarce, quickly depleting resource in New Mexico, which is the most water-stressed state in the US
  • Water is out of balance and the industry needs to implement changes

New Mexico producers have several water management options besides disposal that align with ESG objectives:

  • Reuse – Minimal chemical treatment, blended with freshwater for fracs
  • Recycle – Water treatment removing solids, oil, bacteria and hydrogen sulfide for storage and frac reuse
  • Reclaim – Full water treatment for beneficial reuse or discharge outside of the oil & gas industry
Back to Blog