There are many challenges to water recycling and reuse, and there are not universal solutions. For example, reuse and recycling present increased surface water management challenges. In some circumstances, these approaches may be the preferred methods of wastewater treatment, but they require additional infrastructure such as centralized storage and recycling facilities that can increase risks and surface land use.
We strive to use water wisely and participate in research to evaluate new solutions. For example, in 2013, XTO and Halliburton studied whether it was possible to use recycled produced water in hydraulic fracturing. The results were published in a Society of Professional Engineers paper, Development and Use of High-TDS Recycled Produced Water for Crosslinked-Gel-Based Hydraulic Fracturing. The study involved a series of oil well stimulations performed in the Bone Springs formation in the Delaware basin located in Texas to evaluate the validity of laboratory testing under field conditions. The laboratory and field results of the study demonstrated that under the conditions evaluated it was feasible to use treated produced water as the base fluid for crosslinked-gel-based hydraulic fracturing. This allowed 8 million gallons of produced water to replace fresh water use, reduced about 1,400 truckloads of fresh water from off-site, and saved $70,000 to $100,000 in water procurement costs per well. This work has enabled us to consider non-freshwater sources for some operations.