Only a small amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing in northern Colorado is recycled

The hydraulic fracturing water cycle via Western Resource Advocates

The hydraulic fracturing water cycle via Western Resource Advocates

From the Northern Colorado Business Report (Steve Lynn):

In Northern Colorado, estimates have put water recycling levels at just 2 percent of water used for fracking.

Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), for example, has recycled about 2 percent of its water so far this year, or 600,000 barrels, said Adam Prior, technical water specialist for the company. Noble Energy, one of the largest oil companies in Northern Colorado, is working with CSU to improve its water recycling capabilities, but most of its water still comes from water wells and ponds.

“It’s not economical right now,” Prior told an audience at the 2013 Natural Gas Symposium on Wednesday. The CSU event drew hundreds of people from the oil and gas industry, environmentalists and students.

Prior was one of three panelists who spoke about the barriers to water recycling in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, which includes Northern Colorado. The low cost of fresh water, prevalence of wells used by companies to dispose of used fracking to dispose of used fracking water, recycling infrastructure challenges and a lack of regulations have led to lower water-recycling levels in the region, panelists said…

Noble has improved its water-recycling program since 2011, when all of its water came from cities. Today, about 80 percent of Noble Energy’s water comes from ponds and wells, 18 percent comes from cities and 2 percent is recycled…

Increased water recycling by companies can improve people’s opinion of oil and gas companies, said David Ellerbroek, vice president of MWH Global, an engineering company focused on water.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

2 Responses to Only a small amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing in northern Colorado is recycled

  1. Only 2%? The industry average is closer to 8%-9%, whereas some states such as Texas, the percentage of recycled water is closer to 20%.

    Of course, the amount of water used for agriculture in Colorado is 50 to 60 times the amount used in the hydraulic fracturing process and nobody is asking farmers how much of the water they use is recycled.

    • Coyote Gulch says:

      Cool down a bit, you’re making an apples and oranges comparison.

      Farmers don’t pollute the water they use in the way that the oil and gas industry does. Much of the water used for flood irrigation returns to the stream.

      Most of the water used for hydraulic fracturing is lost to the water cycle forever.

      Thanks for commenting.

      John Orr

      http://coyotegulch.net/

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