Energy Data Firm: Permian Basin Will Need More Water Investment

Surface water constraints have already led Permian operators to reuse flowback and produced water, which is leading to cost savings.

The average slickwater frac job used about 16 million gallons of water in 2018, according to Drillinginfo. (Source: Egorov Artem/Shutterstock.com)

The average slickwater frac job used about 16 million gallons of water in 2018, according to Drillinginfo. (Source: Egorov Artem/Shutterstock.com)

Energy data and analytics firm Drillinginfo forecasts about $17.3 billion in water investment will be needed in the Permian Basin, the biggest oil field in the U.S., by 2025 to sustain activity.

Driving the spend are disposal needs for produced water, which has increased along with production growth.

“Water processing and operations can have a significant impact on any operators’ LOE [lease operating expense],” said Akash Sharma, a senior petroleum engineering analyst and consultant for Drillinginfo. Understanding that from various standpoints—including disposal, trucking and treatment—is crucial, he added.

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Velda Addison

Velda Addison is the senior editor of digital media for Hart Energy’s editorial team. She covers exploration and production.