Oil & gas operators in the state of Texas are disposing of 75 times more waste water than they were in 2005. Growth in disposal volumes is the result of expanded use of hydraulic fracturing and growing water production from oil & gas wells. The state of Texas is producing more oil than it has in 20+ years. Since many of those wells produce associated water, that means more water. Production from the Eagle Ford is adding to the need for growing disposal options.
There are more than 8,000 disposal wells in the state of Texas and a little more than 10% of those are commercial operations. Add 25,000 other producing wells that accept waste fluids to improve recoveries of oil & gas and you begin to picture just how much water can be disposed of. Based on previous years, I estimate approximately 4 billion barrels of water was disposed of in 2012.
Four billion barrels sounds like a lot, but in 2010 the Texas Water Development Board estimates more than 118 billion barrels of water were used for irrigation purposes alone.
If subject of water in the Eagle Ford is new to you, read more about oil and gas water issues previous articles here:
- New TX RRC Rules Make Water Recycling Easier
- South Texas Water Supply Sufficient
- Recycling Waste Water is Big Business
- Eagle Ford Water Use & Concerns
See a full interactive map at texastribune.com