Hydraulic Fracturing and Environmental Issues: What to Believe?

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1 Hydraulic Fracturing and Environmental Issues: What to Believe? Jean-Philippe JP Nicot Jackson School of Geosciences The University of Texas at Austin West Texas Energy Consortium 1 st Annual Conference Abilene, TX June 4, 2014

2 (BEG) Research unit at The University of Texas at Austin ~120 researchers, ~60 staff, ~40 GRAs 2

3 (BEG) Research unit at The University of Texas at Austin ~120 researchers, ~60 staff, ~40 GRAs Acts as the State Geological Survey of Texas but receives ~5% of its budget from the state Repository for millions of cores and geophysical logs 3

4 (BEG) Research unit at The University of Texas at Austin ~120 researchers, ~60 staff, ~40 GRAs Acts as the State Geological Survey of Texas but receives ~5% of its budget from the state Repository for millions of cores and geophysical logs Basic and applied research, all around the world Conducts research focusing on the intersection of energy, the environment, and the economy 2 Divisions: Energy and Environment 4

5 Hydraulic fracturing (HF) of a well requires large amounts of water Sand storage Pumping trucks Wellhead Barnett Shale area, Modified from photo by Devon Energy,

6 but only some of it flows back to the surface and of degraded quality Marcellus Shale area, photo by NETL,

7 How much water is used? Consumed? State water use and consumption Average Water Use and Consumption (kaf) 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 Total ~use = ~15,000 kaf/yr Use Consumption 2011 Mining consumption: Oil and Gas = ~120 kaf water use (HF, drilling, waterflooding) HF = ~81.5 kaf water use HF = ~65 kaf water consumption All other mining uses = ~100kAF Total consumption = ~190 kaf 0 Municipal Manufacturing Mining 7 Steam-electric Livestock Irrigation

8 SHALES TIGHT GAS TIGHT OIL Spraberry and others WOLFCAMP SHALE CLINE SHALE Granite wash, Cleveland, Marmaton BARNETT SHALE HAYNESVILLE SHALE BOSSIER SHALE Cotton Valley, Travis Peak WOODFORD SHALE BARNETT SHALE AVALON / BONESPRING Canyon Sands Olmos EAGLE FORD SHALE PEARSALL SHALE Vicksburg, Wilcox 8

9 Hydraulic Fracturing Water Use 1 AF = 325,851 gallons 1 kaf = million bbl 1kAF = m : 81.5 kaf ~0.5% of state water use 2013: >100 kaf Source of raw data: IHS Enerdeq database, FracFocus, 9 Skytruth

10 Water use in other states Large volumes, 10 s of thousands of HF wells in the US, generally small % of total water use (~2013) ND (Bakken): ~22 kaf (27 Mm 3 ) PA (Marcellus): >20 kaf (>25 Mm 3 ) CO: ~20 kaf (25 Mm 3 ) OK: ~15 kaf (18 Mm 3 ) TX: ~100 kaf (123 Mm 3 ) 10 Bakken area, ND, 2013 Vern Whitten Photography

11 Baseline water use (2011) Large increase in sparsely populated counties because of the low baseline Eagle Ford Permian Basin Barnett 11

12 Eagle Ford: Modeled water level changes between pre-development and 1999 for the Upper Wilcox (wells completed by mid-2013) 12

13 Alternative Resources How to limit fresh water use? 13 Less water-intensive technologies and more salttolerant additives Use brackish groundwater: available resource but not well characterized and not renewable possibly more expensive Competition with municipal use Reuse / recycling of conventional produced water, of flowback / produced water: Can only reuse / recycle what flows back Time / space adequacy; logistics

14 Dockum Pecos Rustler Capitan Paleozoic aquifers Trinity Upper + Gulf Wilcox Coast LBG-Guyton, 2003 for TWDB 14

15 2011 snapshot Anadarko: R/R: 20% BK: 30% Midland: R/R: 2% BK: 30% Barnett: R/R: 5% BK: 3% Fraction from recycling / reuse and brackish water East Texas: R/R: 5% BK: ~0% Delaware: R/R: 0% BK: 80% Based on ~30% of water use 15 Eagle Ford: R/R: ~0% BK: 20% Fresh water R/R Brackish

16 16

17 2011 snapshot Anadarko: ~100% Midland: ~75% Barnett: ~60% Flowback at end of Year1 Haynesville: ~15% Delaware: ~80% Cotton Valley: ~60% Eagle Ford: ~20% Based on ~30% of water use 17

18 ~100 kaf ~4 kaf ~40 kaf 600 million bbl/yr oil 650 bcf/yr gas ~25% of U.S. production ~500 kaf O&G 7220 million bbl/yr salt water ~930 kaf Approximate values for ~

19 Barnett Shale: Annual injection well volumes through time (Ellenburger Fm.)

20 20

21 RRC has not recognized the link between seismic events and injection 21

22 22

23 23

24 Methane in groundwater 1, maybe 2, hotspots in the Barnett Shale footprint Several hotspots in the Haynesville Shale footprint Several hotspots in the Eagle Ford Shale footprint Only blowout-related methane found in the Delaware Basin so far Conflicting studies in the Marcellus but seem mostly natural. 24

25 The Parker County Case Hurst well, 2005; 25

26 26

27 Questions? Comments? 27

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