We closely monitor our water usage, aiming for maximum efficiency and minimal waste. During drilling, water mixed with clay carries rock cuttings to the surface, cooling and lubricating the drill bit. This usually requires about 250,000 gallons of water.
For hydraulic fracturing, water is mixed with sand and other additives. It’s then pumped into the deep shale to create fractures, allowing natural gas to flow freely. The process requires about 3.8 million gallons of water, and is performed only once.
3.8 million gallon sounds like a lot…
Keep in mind, it’s performed only once and is equivalent to the amount of water consumed by a golf course in 15-25 days.
The high salt content of produced water has historically made it impractical for producers to recycle remaining water following hydraulic fracturing. However, strides made through dedicated industry investment and efforts, allow us to reduce and reuse more fresh water than ever before. Water recycling remains a challenging process, yet Fayetteville Shale producers continually strive to develop new opportunities to conserve and reclaim water.