Friday, September 27, 2013

Lessons Learned: Water Is Also Necessary For Bakken Well Maintenance

This is a good news and a bad news story. The details are now just emerging. The Dickinson Press is reporting:
... a new need for water — for well maintenance.
The need for fracking water is well-known, he said. “But what we’re beginning to realize is that these Bakken wells will need freshwater for maintenance over their life.”
Operators are finding that when salt precipitation in wellbores causes production decline, it can be solved by putting freshwater down the well weekly, Helms said.
When that is factored into water use projections, maintenance water use exceeds frac water use.
“So we’re in the process of trying to find a way to recycle … produced water safely so that we can use produced water for fracking and save our freshwater resources for maintenance,” Helms said.
Billings County highway superintendent Jeff Iverson said both the water use and oil production projections were “staggering.”
Some comments:
  • availability, per se, of water is not an issue in the Bakken; delivering water is an issue
  • more water --> more jobs
  • more water --> increased expenses
  • either more pipelines to bring water to wells or more trucks on the highway
  • increased productivity with minor tweaking; decelerating the decline curve

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