Photo: Express-News File Photo
Even conventional oil and gas wells can deliver wastewater to the surface — primarily fluids that flow along with the fossil fuels out of the underground formation. But the industry’s water disposal needs have skyrocketed with the surge in hydraulic fracturing, a process that involves pumping millions of gallons of water along with sand and chemicals underground to open the pores of dense rock formations and unlock the oil and gas trapped inside.
In arid West Texas and southeastern New Mexico, located at the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, water continues to become an important issue.
Not the lack of water, but the abundance of water being produced alongside the crude oil and natural gas from the carbon-rich formations located under the Permian Basin.
Just before Hart Energy opened its annual DUG Permian Basin conference in Fort Worth in early April, it held a water forum featuring operators and service companies discussing water management — from disposal to sourcing.