Michael Dunkel, vice president for CH2M, believes water management for upstream will transform over the next few years. As shale plays become more established and commodity prices begin to recover, producers are looking for more-efficient and lower-cost water solutions for the longer term. In many cases, more-effective water management is only possible with water infrastructure. Water pipelines and storage facilities bring environmental and sustainability benefits. These water systems allow for the low-cost movement of water and facilitate water reuse, the use of distant nonfresh water sources, and the potential of options for distributing water that must be injected into disposal wells. While there are challenges to building water infrastructure, there are many benefits for the producers and other stakeholders. Water sustainability is an important part of industry’s “license to operate,” and it affects community, regulatory, and investor support.
Dunkel presented his paper “Sustainability Aspects of Water Infrastructure” (SPE-184445) at the 2017 SPE Health, Safety, Environment, and Social Responsibility Conference—North America in New Orleans in April.
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