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Analysis of the Eagle Ford Shale Wastewater

  • November 2015
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 43 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

The Need for Increased Impetus to Restore Freshwater Supplies Drives Wastewater Market

This insight provides a systematic overview of wastewater treatment options by shale basin. The United States has a number of shale basins, of which Frost & Sullivan has identified some key basins where wastewater treatment is a need. This market insight aims at identifying characteristics of the major shale basins, wastewater treatment options in each shale basin, and key stakeholder dynamics. It also takes a deeper look into the Eagle Ford basin to provide an overview of the specific concerns associated with wastewater treatment and reuse. This analysis covers an overview of companies present in the space, providing the key tiers of competition.

Key Findings
- An abundance of shale oil formations in the United States and Canada, combined with the latest technology to release them, has fostered growth in this sector in North America
over the past decade.
- Reservoirs that have very low permeability are the ones with an abundance of shale oil. Its extraction can only be accomplished with the use of unconventional methods as this
oil cannot flow easily to the surface.
- Hydraulic fracking has been a critical technique employed. Fracking fluid is primarily composed of water, along with other thickening agents, and is used to create cracks in shale rocks. This then allow the release of natural gas, petroleum, and other by-products through these open fissures.
- In order to enhance the performance of thickening agents used in the fracking process, fresh water is preferred. This fresh water is sourced from lakes, rivers, and municipal supplies. Groundwater, in some instances, is used to augment water use from the aforementioned fresh water sources.
- There is an increasing concern over the use of water for shale oil purposes in the United States and effective ways to reuse water using a number of wastewater treatment methods that are economically viable for the oil and gas sector.
- Since 2011, a significant portion of wells fractured were in regions experiencing high water stress while some were in regions experiencing drought. Environmental concerns therefore have escalated over the increased use of fresh water for fracking in shale basins.
- According to the European Environment Agency, “Water stress occurs when demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use.”
- This research provides a look at the various aspects of water management in the Eagle Ford shale basin, characterized as one of the largest shale basins in the United States.
- It provides a bird’s eye view of the largest and significant shale basins in the US, followed by an overview of the Eagle Ford shale basin.

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