Bringing Balance To E&P Water Demands

Rapid growth continues in the water midstream space.

Storage tanks and a treater, like this one in central Colorado, separate water from crude or condensate from natural gas. (Source: rCarner/

The beauty of water is that it takes the shape of its container. The beauty of the container is the near-infinite variations in shape it can take to accommodate that water. Things get ugly when there are not enough containers to get that water from one point to another. This is where water midstream teams attempt to bring balance to the demands of many.

Over the last two years, more than 30 water transfer projects have been identified in the Permian Basin alone, according to Bluefield Research. Water transfer projects have popped up across many of the U.S. shale basins as water is a key operational component.

According to Bluefield’s report, “Midstream Water Management: U.S. Hydraulic Fracturing Strategies, Solutions & Outlook,” water management for the hydraulic fracturing sector has maintained a steady clip since 2017. Spend on water supply, transport, treatment, storage and disposal has increased 12% per year from $11.74 billion to a projected $15.49 billion by the close of 2019. From 2019 through 2028, Bluefield forecasts water management spend for hydraulic fracturing to average $17 billion per year.

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