Understanding and prioritizing water management is key for exploration-and-production operators, not only in terms of reducing overall cost and capital expenditures but also as a means of mitigating operational risk, complying with changing regulatory requirements, and addressing environmental concerns.
Water-management decisions within shale oil and gas production fall into three primary categories: water acquisition, water usage within hydraulic-fracturing operations, and the disposal of produced and flowback waters from drilling and production. Shale-fracturing flowback refers to the portion of injected hydraulic-fracturing fluids that returns to the surface before and during initial production. The large quantities of flowback and formation water generated during the fracturing process must be treated before recycling, beneficial reuse, or disposal. Typically, 10–20% returns within 7–14 days, with a rapid decline in quality and quantity. Shale produced water typically refers to water produced during the production phase of the shale wells in the longer term and has significantly lower flow rates and more-consistent quality than flowback water. The characteristics of produced and flowback water vary, but both types of water must be treated properly and disposed of correctly or recycled.
Numerous technologies are available today to enable complete or tailored removal of ionic, organic, and particulate contaminants from source waters for injection or produced waters for discharge.
From fine-particle filtration to remove suspended solids and selective-ion exchange for boron removal to polymeric adsorbents for organic-compound removal, numerous water-management solutions are available to ensure that flowback water and produced water are treated properly for recycling, reuse, or disposal.
The papers featured in this month deal with water management in south Argentina, a salt-tolerant friction reducer, and a novel water-shutoff system for carbonates. I hope you enjoy reading the selected papers.
This Month's Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
IPTC 18936 Integrated-Water-Management Challenges by H. Al-Shammari, Kuwait Oil Company, et al.
SPE 183340 Innovative Approach To Treat Produced Water for Reuse in Saudi Aramco Reservoirs Pressure Maintenance by Mohamed Ahmed Soliman, Saudi Aramco, et al.
SPE 183743 Maintaining Injectivity of Disposal Wells: From Water Quality to Formation Permeability by Ali A. Al-Taq, Saudi Aramco, et al.
SPE 184520 On-Demand Water Control: Molecular Host/Guest Interaction for In-Situ Modification of Formation-Fluid Permeability by Antonio Recio III, Halliburton, et al.
Syed A. Ali, SPE, Consultant
01 December 2017
Maintaining Injectivity of Disposal Wells: From Water Quality to Formation Permeability
An extensive laboratory study was carried out with two objectives: to evaluate the effect of water quality on injectivity of disposal wells with reservoir core plugs and to restore injectivity of damaged wells.
Water Demand Spurs Permian Infrastructure Investment
Rising oil production in the Permian Basin has created an opportunity for midstream companies to acquire and expand pipeline infrastructure to handle a predicted spike in produced water.
New Salt-Tolerant Friction-Reducer System Enables 100% Reuse of Produced Water
This paper discusses the field trials of a new salt-tolerant friction-reducer system in the Marcellus Shale.
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