Not all produced water can be recycled or reused for other drilling operations. In some cases, the mineral content of the produced water is simply too high. For example, regardless of the formation, current hydraulic fracturing technologies require the use of water with a lower mineral content. Specifically, calcium, magnesium, barium and sulfate all contribute to scaling, which can significantly reduce the productivity of a well. Furthermore, extremely high salt content makes the injection fluid difficult to pump downhole, increasing the power requirements and resulting in higher volumes of chemicals needed to reduce friction.
State regulations play a major role in the industry’s ability to recycle or reuse produced water. In addition, wellsite location is also a factor for produced water management. For instance, in some areas well locations are widely spaced. Due to this distance, the creation and operation of a centralized treatment facility would result in higher volumes of truck traffic than that associated with the disposal of the fluid in a nearby saltwater injection well (SWD). In fact, even when produced water is treated or distilled, the salt content which is filtered out must still be transported and disposed of properly.
Chesapeake’s Aqua Renew® Program
Founded under the concept of water recovery and reuse in 2006, Chesapeake’s Aqua Renew® program is utilizing state-of-the-art technology in an effort to recycle produced water.
Chesapeake is currently exploring ways to expand the program throughout our operations in the Rocky Mountain region. The company is also continuously looking for ways to expand the program by evaluating new technology both on its own and through partnerships with a number of environmental organizations.
Additional Water Resources
Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Wyoming State Engineer's Office
Wyoming Water Development Commission