Water Treating for Shale Operations

Projects, Facilities and Construction

Course Description

This course provides both an overview of water management and an in-depth look at critical issues related to sourcing (acquiring), reusing, recycling, and disposing of water in shale operations. The course starts with a background of shale operations and the different plays around North America. Options being used for transport, storage, reuse, and disposal are described for each of the different regions. The water management practices being used in the different regions are described and explained in terms of regional climate, type of shale, type of fracturing fluids being used, and the regional regulatory framework.

Fluid characteristics are then described. The unique features of hydraulic fracturing fluids are given and compared to those of conventional oil and gas and fluids from other industries such as starch manufacture, pulp and paper, and food and beverage.  Throughout the course, field experiences, practical issues, and field performance of equipment is presented.


Bacterial and scaling control

Pre-treatment and desalination

Why certain technologies work well and others do not

Which technologies are suitable for which kind of fluid

Costs to use various technologies at well sites, well pads and clusters, and in centralized facilities

Lessons learned and best practices are presented for essentially all phases of the water management life cycle

Costs to use various technologies at well sites, well pads and clusters, and in centralized facilities

Learning Level


Course Length

1 or 2 Days

Why Attend?

Water treating is becoming increasingly important for maintaining the license to operate, as a component of DBOO project delivery, and for developing IOR/EOR projects.

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for process, facilities, and chemical engineers involved in either design or troubleshooting water-treating systems.

Special Requirements

Attendees should have a basic understanding of upstream oil and gas facilities.


0.8 or 1.6 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1- or 2-day course.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14 day window will not be refunded.  Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page.  Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will.  Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.

Full regional cancellation policies can be found at the Cancellation Policy page within the SPE Training Course Catalog.


John M. Walsh is a consultant, currently working for CETCO Energy Services. He recently retired from Shell where he was the global subject matter expert in the area of upstream water treating. He has more than 30 years of experience with 20 years in the E&P industry dealing with water treatment. He worked in technical centers for half of his career and in operating assets for the other half. He has designed water-treating systems, and provided troubleshooting support to assets all over the world. He has experience in nearly all areas of water treating for the oil and gas industry including conventional produced water treating systems, and water treating for water flood, polymer flood, steam flood, sour hydrocarbons, and unconventional hydrocarbons.

Having earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, together with extensive experience in operating units, he brings a unique combination of fundamental knowledge with first hand practical experience. He has presented more than 40 papers on the subject of produced water treating at various conferences and workshops. He recently served on the Board of Directors of SPE as the technical director for the Projects, Facilities, and Construction discipline. He currently serves on the organizing committee for Water Handling Global Integrate Workshop Series.

Kris Bansal, PH.D., is a consultant with expertise in developing optimum engineering solutions requiring system integration and interface with multiple disciplines from reservoir to the topsides in upstream operations. He recently retired as an Engineering Fellow from ConocoPhillips after 30 years of service in E&P. At ConocoPhillips, he was the global subject matter expert in the area of upstream water management. Before joining ConocoPhillips, Kris spent 6 years in Saudi Aramco in operations engineering. He led a team of engineers for process studies and corrosion control programs in upstream operations in the Ghawar field – one of the largest in the world.

At ConocoPhillips, Kris was heavily involved in nearly all areas of water treating including conceptual and detailed engineering design of new projects, commissioning and start-up, waterflooding, steam flood, unconventional shale gas operations, and deepwater. He successfully developed processes for management of non-produced fluids including drilling wastes and flowbacks for optimized facility operation – a total system approach. He provided technical and problem solving expertise in ConocoPhillips worldwide operations to develop innovative, cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions to process problems. He taught waterflood school and presented problem solving seminars for technology transfer to operations and engineering in ConocoPhillips. 

Kris has presented papers on the subject of produced water management at various conferences and workshops, and has been the keynote speaker at SPE technical forums Kris has a MS and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and MS in Chemical engineering. With extensive experience in operations, Kris provides a unique combination of fundamental knowledge with first-hand practical experience to organizations.