Simple, cheap, and reliable treatment of produced water will transform the economics and viability of unconventional plays. Produced water recycle not only creates options to minimize fresh water usage; in local areas it can take tens of thousands of water hauling trucks off the road and significantly reduce salt water disposal.
This is no pipe dream. A novel process based on a step-change in the application of chlorine dioxide chemistry has been proven to work and consistently generate frac-compatible fluid at several company facilities in Texas. The solution is an inline system that simplifies the operation, optimizes chemical consumption, and enables continuous on-the-fly treatment. Case studies over multiple years and greater than 18 million barrels used at the field level show that produced water is being recycled for less than half the equivalent cost of using fresh water.