FOCUS: UNCONVENTIONAL OIL & GAS: Dry fracing transforms water use in unconventional developments

Tayvis Dunnahoe Special Projects* Water resources are an important factor in unconventional oil and gas development. At both ends of the barrel, water is a necessary component of developing gas and oil and, once spent, produced water must be handled and disposed of properly. Dry fracing, or waterless fracing, may soon take water out of the equation for some operators. While the amount of water used to frac a well varies by play, most shale completions will require an average of 5 million gal. About 50-80% of this amount will flow back to surface within the first few weeks of production. In many cases, this flowback is being treated and reused on subsequent wells. Where commercial disposal...

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