Whitepaper explains expanding shale water options in TX

By Texas Alliance of Energy Producers | September 17, 2019

The U.S. energy independence goal has been largely accomplished due to historic levels of oil and gas production in Texas. To maintain this edge, the Texas oil and gas industry must continue to use water wisely and sustainably.  The question is: How? The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers is providing some answers today with the unveiling of its new white paper: “Sustainable Produced Water Policy, Regulatory Framework, and Management in the Texas Oil and Gas Industry: 2019 and Beyond,” by co-authors Blythe Lyons, John Tintera, and Kylie Wright. 

The report provides current data on produced water supply and disposition, highlights technologies and trends, explores the Texas and federal regulatory and policy landscape, provides examples of recycle and reuse, and analyzes the impediments to improving produced water management. The report concludes with a set of 10 recommendations to address these barriers as well as increase opportunities to reuse and recycle produced water safely and economically. 

“The same ingenuity and hard work that created the shale revolution is taking Texas’ water reuse and recycling to new heights,” said paper co-author John Tintera of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. “With help from our state and federal legislators and regulators, the industry will further embrace produced water recycling and reuse, resulting in positive impacts to our economy, the environment, and national security.” 

Key Facts, Findings, and Recommendations:

-Texas has made great strides in produced water management over the past five years. 

-Data point to exponential increases in the amount of produced water that the industry will generate over the next five years.

-Produced water recycle and reuse is likely to increase as the scales tip toward midstream water management. The trend will be bolstered as demand for fracturing water grows, freshwater and trucking costs increase, treatment costs decline, and injection capacity is unable to keep pace with production.

-Current and emerging treatment technologies can support cost-effective recycle and reuse in the oil and gas industry. However, there is no silver bullet technology that would replace the need to maintain disposal capacity.

-Texas did many things right early on – including legislative and regulatory actions – to encourage safe and economic produced water reuse and recycling options. More remains to be done, including at the federal level.

-Produced water reuse and recycling in Texas is poised to expand with the right statutes, regulatory framework, civil law, and economic incentives.

-The white paper provides ten recommendations, notably delegation of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) authority to Texas, preservation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) exemption, revisions to statutes and regulations, development of incentive mechanisms, and improved data collection and dissemination.

-The paper concludes by examining when produced water might be put to work in beneficial uses outside the oil and gas fields. 

The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers and co-sponsor the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) will launched the white paper today in Austin at The Austin Club. Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian gave the keynote followed by two expert panels. Co-authors Blythe Lyons, Alliance Consultant, and Kylie Wright of GAI Consultants attended the event and moderated the panels. 

To download a copy of the white paper, visit http://bit.ly/AllianceProducedWaterReport.