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As Scarcity Hits, Water Tech Flows In

Photo courtesy of Chip MacLaughlin.
A freshwater “frac pit” in Glasscock County, south of Garden City, Texas. Fresh water remains the main source for hydraulic fracturing fluids; however, companies are increasingly turning to other water sources to support the rapidly growing shale fields in the Permian Basin.

Although the oil and gas boom in the United States owes much of its success to the abundance of cheap sources of fresh water, the status quo is beginning to change. Groundwater remains the main source of water for most onshore exploration and production companies; however, they are increasingly investing in produced and flowback water-­treatment technologies. Many of the same companies are also turning to brackish water sources in places where freshwater aquifers are becoming depleted, such as the Permian Basin that spans west Texas and eastern New Mexico. Brackish water, sometimes called fossil water, has less salt content than seawater, making it cheaper to treat, and is typically found in the same areas where hydrocarbons are developed.

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As Scarcity Hits, Water Tech Flows In

Trent Jacobs, JPT Technology Writer

01 October 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 10

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