Hydraulic Fracturing and Water

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Ports-to-Plains Energy Summit
Omni Interlocken Resort
Broomfield, CO
April 7, 2011
Hydraulic fracturing has been in the news lately. Learn exactly what the process is and how it is impacting economic growth and energy security.

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Hydraulic Fracturing and Water

  1. 1. Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Ports-to-Plains Alliance 2011 Energy Summit April 7–8, 2011 John Harju Associate Director for Research© 2010 University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center.
  2. 2. Background• Water is the most critical limiting resource throughout the world.• Sustainable water supplies are needed for: – Energy production. – Growing and processing high-value crops. – Industrial manufacturing. – Expanding populations.• As population grows and demand for food, water, energy, and manufactured goods increases, competition for existing water supplies will increase. EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology
  3. 3. Increasing Water Use for Hydraulic Fracturing• The percentage of nonconventional oil and gas resources, such as shale gas and tight oil, continues to increase in our domestic production.• Hydraulic fracturing, and therefore water, is necessary to harness these resources.• Large resources include the following: – Marcellus Shale – Antrim Shale – Barnett Shale – Haynesville Shale – Fayetteville Shale – Woodford Shale – Bakken Formation – Niobrara – Eagle Ford EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology
  4. 4. Projected Domestic Gas Production EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy TechnologySource: Energy Information Administration, 2011, http://www.eia.gov/neic/speeches/newell_12162010.pdf
  5. 5. Global Liquids Production EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy TechnologySource: Energy Information Administration, 2011, http://www.eia.gov/neic/speeches/newell_12162010.pdf
  6. 6. Projected U.S. Energy Use EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy TechnologySource: Energy Information Administration, 2011, http://www.eia.gov/neic/speeches/newell_12162010.pdf
  7. 7. Water Needs for Fraccing• Fraccing requirements range from 1 to 5 million gallons of freshwater per well.• The water is mixed with small amounts of chemicals (biocides, polymers, friction reducers) and proppants prior to injection.• A percentage of the frac water returns to the surface (flowback) and is recovered, disposed of, or recycled.– Typically contains dissolved solids (salts), suspended solids, residual  EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology hydrocarbons, and chemicals.
  8. 8. Options for Flowback Disposal• Underground injection• Discharge to a commercial industrial treatment facility• Discharge to a municipal wastewater treatment plant• Discharge to surface water bodies, following treatment• Reuse – Blending with freshwater – Recycling EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology
  9. 9. Water and Fraccing Issues in the Media • Water availability, especially in arid and semiarid areas. • Public perception of how much water is needed for fraccing. – 1 million gallons is the daily amount of water used to irrigate 130 acres of farmland (1/4 section) in North Dakota. • Potential impacts of fraccing on underground supplies of drinking water. – Precautions are taken to protect groundwater supplies when a well is drilled and subsequently fracced. – Fraccing has been successfully employed for over 60 years. • Concerns over frac flowback disposal. EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology
  10. 10. Marcellus Water IssuesMarcellus Shale– Public concern over contamination of underground supplies of drinking water. • Temporary suspension of high-volume fraccing permits in New York pending review of industry practices by the New York Department of Environmental Control. • Proposed moratoriums on fraccing by the New York State Legislature and other environmental groups.– Frac flowback disposal. • Stricter regulations than some midwestern states. • Lack of disposal well sites increases water hauling distances and costs. • There is also some public concern over safe disposal of frac flowback. EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology
  11. 11. Bakken Water IssuesLack of freshwater availability forfraccing:– Access to Lake Sakakawea is currently restricted until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes an environmental impact study.– Other surface water sources are limited.– Groundwater supplies are also limited, already allocated, and/or restricted by the North Dakota State Water Commission.– Water haulers often wait in long lines or drive long distances to fill trucks. EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology
  12. 12. Bakken Formation Water Issues
  13. 13. • The Northern Great Plains Water Consortium (NGPWC) is a partnership between the EERC, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and key stakeholders to address critical issues that impact the water resources of the northern Great Plains region.• Stakeholders: – Electrical power generation utilities – Oil and gas companies – Industry – Municipalities – State agencies – Other interested entities
  14. 14. Key NGPWC Goals• To assess, develop, and demonstrate technologies and methodologies that optimize water use for energy production.• To identify nontraditional water supply sources and innovative options for water reuse. EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology
  15. 15. Example NGPWC Projects• Evaluation of Bakken flowback recycling.• Pilot project demonstration of brackish groundwater treatment for use in Bakken fraccing.• Funded by DOE, North Dakota Industrial Commission Oil and Gas Research Council, and North Dakota Petroleum Council. EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology
  16. 16. Contact InformationEnergy & Environmental Research CenterUniversity of North Dakota15 North 23rd Street, Stop 9018Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202-9018World Wide Web: www.undeerc.orgTelephone No. (701) 777-5157Fax No. (701) 777-5181John Harju, Associate Director for Researchjharju@undeerc.org EERC . . . The International Center for Applied Energy Technology

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