Water reuse could be key for future of hydraulic fracturing

The projected water needed for hydraulic fracturing compared to the projected water produced during hydraulic fracturing over the life of major oil plays. Credit: University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences

Enough water will come from the ground as a byproduct of oil production from unconventional reservoirs during the coming decades to theoretically counter the need to use fresh water for hydraulic fracturing operations in many of the nation’s large oil-producing areas. But while other industries, such as agriculture, might want to recycle some of that water for their own needs, water quality issues and the potential costs involved mean it could be best to keep the water in the oil patch.

That is the takeaway from two new studies led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.
“We need to first maximize reuse of produced water for hydraulic fracturing,”…

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