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AAPG Southwest Section Annual Convention

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Making Data-Driven Decisions about Produced Water Treatment

Abstract

The treatment of produced water and oilfield waste from unconventional oil and gas development (UD) has recently garnered significant attention given the scarcity of fresh water and the induction of anthropogenic earthquakes in many shale energy basins across the United States. However, the widespread adoption of water treatment in the oil and gas sector has been hindered by economics in some cases, and by effectiveness in others. The biogeochemical complexities of produced oilfield waste require that a wide range of treatment technologies be utilized to remove the various organic, inorganic, and biological constituents that can otherwise preclude its reuse for production well stimulation. Here we present a comprehensive biogeochemical analysis of produced waters from across Texas; and the advanced analytical instrumentation that is required to characterize these waste streams. The analytical methods can be utilized by operators and service companies to make data-driven decisions about the treatment, and ultimately the fate, of produced water resources.