Water remains almost as important as oil for STACK operators

Finding and using water these days is nearly as important as finding oil that lays below the earth’s surface in Oklahoma’s STACK and SCOOP plays.

It was the focus of this week’s American Business Conference’s Cost-Effective Water Management Congress SCOOP and STACK held in Oklahoma City. Without the water, the fracking that has led to the discovery of hundreds of wells in the plays would not be possible.

Take for instance what Alta Mesa Resources has done in the STACK, according to David McClure, VP of Facilities and Midstream.

As part of a Wednesday morning panel discussion on strategies for driving capex and costs as low as possible,  he pointed out how his firm has gone from a dozen water wells to 100 in the past few years. Alta Mesa had a $90 million evaluation of those well as of October 2018.

It had 200 plus miles of permanently installed pipe along with 20 produced-water disposal facilities along with 7 lined surface water impoundments and 20 pump stations in the STACK.

Another of those who spoke at the conference was engineer Dan Mueller of the Environmental Defense Fund, a group that is known for taking on the energy industry all in the name protecting the environment.

Mueller, based in Austin, Texas told the industry representatives on hand his group takes stands based on “science based-sound policy.”

“What we’re concerned with is that produced water might have more of a risk if it’s used outside oil and gas operations,” he said.

His area of concern is on the fracking chemicals in flowback and maintaining those chemicals during the life of any well.

“We’re worried about those products exiting a well that weren’t injected,” Mueller. “Because there are significant gaps to detect chemicals in water.”

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