Innovations in Water Management Strategies in Upstream Oil and Gas Operations in North America, 2018
Increasing Role of Midstream Partners to Streamline Industry Activity
  • There is a critical need for the upstream oil and gas exploration and production industry to better manage processed and produced water. Moving forward, activity is set to grow in absolute terms, but also on a per well basis in terms of process water and produced water levels. This growth requires smarter management methods to reduce the growing complexity in requirements and logistics concerning water. Furthermore, water scarcity and irregular supply are often found in areas of high levels of drilling activity, which compounds the environmental and operational challenges experienced by drillers and local communities and businesses.

    This level of pressure is generating change in the industry, whether technological, operational or business models. There are, however, strong barriers to innovation in the industry. Landowners and oil and gas operators understand the high degree of liability and exposure that their water businesses face. Deploying new produced water treatment solutions on a large-scale when they have only been proven on a test site is often an unacceptable risk. The need for precision and consistency in treating water to state and local regulation is a critical requirement in the industry. Oftentimes, the broader water and wastewater treatment industry will try to push new solutions into oil and gas applications without sufficient tailoring it to industry needs.

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