Upstream Texas - Spring/Summer 2017 - 5
TEXAS PRODUCERS EMBRACE
TO SHRINK WATER USAGE
PRESIDENT - TEXAS INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS & ROYALTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION
WHILE RAINFALL IN THE Lone Star State may be up for the time being,
water conservation nevertheless remains a top priority for oil and gas producers
operating in the state of Texas. Texas producers genuinely appreciate the value
of water as one of our key natural resources - weighing its worth not only from
a business perspective but also as an essential component of our ecosystem -
which is why, whenever possible, oil and gas companies are constantly improving
their water management and conservation practices in the oilfield.
In fact, water recycling and reuse for Texas exploration and production
activities is more prevalent now than ever before.
TIPRO is proud of our association's members that are leading progress
in this field, as these companies accelerate their adoption of new water
technologies to make the most of recycled and reclaimed water collected
from the well site and lessen overall freshwater requirements for their oil and
gas operations. Apache Corporation, for example, has eliminated freshwater
usage at its Wolfcamp shale wells in the Permian Basin, where since 2013
the company has met its water needs by drawing brackish water from the
Santa Rosa aquifer and taking advantage of water recycled from its wells.
The fact that Apache has found a way to recycle 100 percent of the produced
water from its unconventional wells is truly groundbreaking. And Apache is
not alone in such efforts - other TIPRO companies also have been deploying
advanced technologies and recycling systems that will save millions of gallons
of fresh groundwater. Inside this edition of Upstream Texas, learn more about
how another TIPRO member Pioneer Natural Resources has entered a historic
agreement to partner with the cities of Midland and Odessa to use reclaimed
wastewater and allow the company to reduce its needs for freshwater in the
Midland Basin. Read more beginning on page 8.
It is remarkable to think that oil and gas water recycling is becoming
mainstream, and that one day hopefully in the not so distant future, Texas
producers would like to discontinue the use of freshwater for drilling and
hydraulic fracturing operations.
This initiative voluntarily taken on by TIPRO members to enhance water
conservation efforts remains as important as ever before. Not only must Texas
strategize to satisfy current water needs, but experts are forecasting water
demand to surge in the coming decades as the state's population rapidly grows.
Texas' population is expected to increase more than 70 percent between
2020 and 2070, from 29.5 million to 51 million, with water demand projected
to increase by 17 percent over that time period from 18.4 million acre-feet
per year in 2020 to 21.6 million acre-feet per year in 2070, reports the Texas
Water Development Board (TWDB) in the agency's 2017 State Water Plan.
Looking forward the next 50 years, TWDB anticipates that the mining sector
[which includes the oil and gas industry] will still only account for less than
3 percent of calculated annual water demand in Texas. Even so, our state's
oil and gas producers are committed to their role as good stewards of the
environment, and will continue to implement innovative water conservation
techniques when possible to minimize freshwater usage and instead turn to
alternative water sources for energy development.
And though comprehensive water management has long been an issue for
the state of Texas, to this day, our officials have prioritized water planning in
order to ensure that Texas maintains adequate and affordable water supplies
both now and in the future.
The daily work of the TWDB, amongst other state entities, is significant
to the efforts enabling Texas to successfully meet our water needs, as the
agency lends guidance to Texas communities for the responsible development,
management and conservation of the state's water resources.
Meanwhile, oil and gas regulators at the Texas Railroad Commission
helped contribute to the promotion of water conservation by industry when
the commission adopted new rules in 2013 removing roadblocks which had
historically hindered the widespread acceptance of water recycling and reuse
by oil and gas producers.
And under the pink dome at the Texas capitol, this spring, legislators have
considered policies that will ensure Texas continues to properly manage
our sources of water for the years to come, supporting the needs of future
generations of Texans. During the 2017 Texas Legislative Session, our state
lawmakers have built on the legislative successes of last session to further
support additional water planning and conservation efforts.
On behalf of our state's oil and gas producers, TIPRO will continue to
advocate for sound policies that back industry's efforts to conserve and
IT IS REMARKABLE TO THINK THAT OIL AND GAS WATER
RECYCLING IS BECOMING MAINSTREAM, AND THAT ONE DAY
HOPEFULLY IN THE NOT SO DISTANT FUTURE, TEXAS PRODUCERS
WOULD LIKE TO DISCONTINUE THE USE OF FRESHWATER FOR
DRILLING AND HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OPERATIONS.
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