South Texas is experiencing one of the worst three droughts on record. Producers are coming up with creative ways to conserve resources and tap water resources that have gone unused for many years.
"We have not experienced any problems obtaining water," in the play, Richard Wheatley, a spokesman for El Paso Corp., said.
The Houston-based producer and pipeline company, which has drilled about 30 wells in the so-called central region of the Eagle Ford play, uses groundwater either from water wells the company itself has drilled or that it has purchased under contract with ranchers in the region.
El Paso uses no surface water from lakes or rivers in the region, Wheatley said.
Petrohawk, one of the operators that pioneered the development of the Eagle Ford, has reduced its water needs by two-thirds since it began drilling in the play about three years ago, spokeswoman Joan Dunlap said.
"We use much less water for Eagle Ford wells than is required for wells in other plays. We are down to using less than 5,000 barrels per frack stage, as opposed to 15,000 barrels per stage," she said.
She added that the company's operations actually result in increasing the access to water supplies for surface landowners in the region.
"Our Hawkville field sits atop a prolific 500-foot thick aquifer located between 4,000 and 5,000 feet underground," Dunlap said.
"The landowners, largely ranchers and farmers, have no means to access this water for their use. Nearly every lease calls for the drilling of a water well, at the company's expense, that is used for well completion operations and then turned over to the surface owner for future domestic use," she said.
"Since these water wells cost about $500,000 each, we don't know a landowner that isn't tickled pink with
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