Oilfield wastewater disposal volumes are expected to double in the Permian Basin within the next 2 to 3 years, a new analysis from global energy intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie shows.
As drilling activity continues to expand in the arid region between West Texas and southeastern New Mexico, hydraulic fracturing has resulted in growing challenges in sourcing water and what to do with waste water from completed wells.
Wastewater disposal costs can account for a third of total lease operating expenses in the Permian Basin, Wood Mackenzie Director of Upstream Consulting Matthias Bloennigen said in a statement.
"Even with 100% water reuse for further completions, which is unlikely, the current saltwater disposal infrastructure is expected to hit capacity in the near future," Bloennigen said. "As Permian operators continue to focus on boosting production output, they will need to develop and refine their water strategies."
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