Shale gas wells can each require between 8,000 m3 and 16,000 m3 of frac water, with up to 25% of that water being returned to the surface during production. Effective asset life cycle water management is key to the technical and economic success of both unconventional gas and conventional oil developments. Unconventional gas resource development in densely populated Europe presents different frac water management challenges to those in sparsely populated areas of the USA.

How can decades of worldwide experience of onshore conventional oil produced water management be applied to improve water management for unconventional gas wells in the areas of:

  • Sourcing frac water supplies

  • Obtaining permits for water abstraction and disposal

  • Resolving stake holder environmental concerns

  • Investigating frac water related formation damage

  • Understanding returned frac water composition

  • Treating and recycling frac water

  • Minimizing frac water requirements

Onshore water management for unconventional gas and conventional oil production are compared and contrasted with the objective of optimizing frac water life cycle management for unconventional gas resources in Europe.

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