Walter Dale, manager for water solutions at Halliburton, a big oilfield services company, told an industry group in Houston that the firm is working to cut water use in its hydraulic fracturing jobs by 25 percent. Water can be a significant cost of a fracturing job. Another panelist, Johan Themaat, vice president at High Sierra Water Services of Denver, said recycling is another option for improving water use by cleaning produced water just enough to be reused as fracturing fluid or even thoroughly cleaned enough to be discharged into waterways. He said service companies like Halliburton are reworking their fracturing fluids to allow the use of more brackish, or salty, water. That not only reduces new freshwater used, but also reduces the amount of fluid that must be disposed of, typically by underground injection. The Barnett Shale, however, is a difficult field for recycling because existing disposal options are relatively inexpensive, he said.
-- Jim Fuquay