Reuse and Recycling of Flowback and Produced Waters
Water treatment technologies and solutions to recycle and reuse produced waters are discussed in this chapter.
Hydraulic fracturing is a petroleum mining technique used to bring oil and natural gas trapped in underground shale and rock formations to the surface for capture. As the name implies, water typically carries a proppant-such as sand-down into a wellbore to fracture shale or rock formations containing oil and gas. The proppant is utilized to keep the fractures open, which allows the trapped oil and gas to ow back to the surface with the water. The fracturing process uses, on average, 230,000 barrels (36,563 m3/9,660,000 gal) of water per well. The average pad drilling setup typically contains two to six wells (Figure 9.1), which could result in water consumption ranging between 460,000 barrels (73,126 m3/19.3 million gal) and 1,380,000 barrels (219,378 m3/57.9 million gal) of water.