U.S. Shale: Water Is the New Oil

22 Sep 2017   Shale Oil

Rising U.S. shale output has led to increased amounts of the water that inadvertently flows out of wells together with oil. For now, drillers use trucks to transport this dirty water—which exceeds the amount of oil produced—to disposal sites, creating heavy traffic on roads. But now, at the heart of the shale boom in Texas, water management companies are thinking about new ways to move this water, creating a new opportunity in the onslaught of U.S. shale—and a new hurdle for U.S. shale drillers desperately trying to cut costs to stay afloat. Water is used—and produced—in the various stages of hydraulic fracturing. Drillers source freshwater or brackish water, and then transport it to the well, mix it with proppants, and inject the fluid into the well to create cracks in the rock formations. Oil and gas flows to the surface, and the water comes with it. And the quantity […]

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