The oil and gas industry has made great strides during the last decade in using produced water as an offset to fresh water in both completion and drilling activities. Even with this achievement, a large volume of produced water is disposed underground via Class II UIC wells. There is a growing interest amongst industry, State and Federal regulatory agencies and Academia regarding the potential to recover some volume of treated “fresh” water from this brine for a beneficial use. Not everyone is in favor of this concept and some question if “fresh” water can either economically or safely be removed from produced water.

This paper will briefly discuss the concept of produced water and the documented volumes produced and disposed by the onshore U.S. oil and gas industry. Additionally, information will be presented regarding typical composition of various produced waters across the U.S. and concerns regarding organic and chemical constituents that may potentially be found in produced water. Finally, the presentation will present various currently available and “in research” technologies that will have the ability to target the previously discussed metals, minerals, organics and any other chemicals of concern in an effort to generate a volume of beneficially useable water.

Primary Author / Conference Presenter:
Rick McCurdy
RMc3 Consulting, LLC
Luther, Oklahoma, USA