Oil and Gas – Water, Water Everywhere – or Nowhere?

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates the nation’s oil and gaswells produce 15 billion to 20 billion

natural gas wastewater ponds holding millions of gallons of toxic waste, water desalination plant, CLLEEN could help solve the problem

barrels of water annually. In 1993, the oil and gas industry produced enough water worldwide to flow over Niagara Falls for nine days, according to the Produced Water Society, an industry trade group.

The volume of water produced with oil and gas trends with the amount of oil and gas produced. And with the worldwide demand for more and more energy, the demand and need for water is correspondingly rising also.


Apart from the expense associated with firstly getting water, then treating it when wastewater, or disposing of the wastewater, these processes are energy inefficient and cost a company dearly in many ways. Often the salinity concentration alone of wastewater precludes dumping the water because the authorities often prohibit even minor salinity increases in surface waters. Therefore, left untreated, produced water doesn’t even meet standards for use in drilling and hydraulic fracturing — the process of injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals under pressure to crack open rock and shale deep underground to stimulate the flow of hydrocarbons.

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