Brine Management: Produced Water and Frac Flowback Brine
- David Burnett (Texas A&M University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 46 - 48
- 2011. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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R&D Grand Challenges - This is the third in a series of articles on the great challenges facing the oil and gas industry as outlined by the SPE Research and Development (R&D) Committee. The R&D challenges comprise broad upstream business needs: increasing recovery factors, in-situ molecular manipulation, carbon capture and sequestration, produced water management, higher resolution subsurface imaging of hydrocarbons, and the environment. The articles in this series examine each of these challenges in depth. The R&D Grand Challenges Series, comprising articles published in JPT during 2011 and 2012, is available as a collection on OnePetro (SPE-163061-MS).
White papers covering these challenges are available at www.spe.org/industry/globalchallenges and allow reader comments and open discussion of the topics. White papers are currently available on the subjects of in-situ molecular manipulation, increasing hydrocarbon recovery factors, and carbon capture and sequestration with additional papers to be added in coming months. The world is changing. The transformation from onshore infill drilling and occasional field extension operations to the rapid development of super major gas fields throughout the United States is being called the great gas shale revolution. This disruptive change is as significant as the advent of rotary drilling in the 19th century.
Three issues drive this revolution:
- The world’s energy needs are increasing at an exponential rate and, led by the US and the European Union, there is a major thrust to move toward clean energy.
- In the US, vast reserves of unconventional gas are technically recover-able within its own boundaries and that energy security is one of its benefits.
- Most important, technology to access these resources is advancing at an increasing rate.
- Today we are seeing major developments—not only the Barnett Shale, but also the Fayetteville, Haynesville, Eagle Ford, and Marcellus shales in North America. Together, these and other developing and prospective gas shale plays offer the US more than a 400-year supply of this abundant, clean-burning fuel.
So why is there a controversy over development of these resources? One issue stands out—the environmental footprint of unconventional gas development. Along with this new awareness of the availability of abundant energy, the environmental impact of energy production is a critical part of the equation.
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