Produced-Water Management Tools, Uinta Basin, Utah

Basin-Scale Produced-Water Management Tools and Options
GIS-Based Models and Statistical Analysis of Shale Gas/Tight Sand Reservoirs and Their Produced-Water Streams, Uinta Basin, Utah

Funded by Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA): Small Producer Program and the Utah Geological Survey

Objectives

Objectives

  • Create basin-wide, digital produced-water management tools.
  • Integrate produced-water character, water disposal/reuse, water transport, and groundwater sensitivity factors to allow for quicker and more efficient regulatory and management decisions related to unconventional gas developments.
  • Investigate the option of beneficial use of produced-water treatment for geothermal heat recovery or power generation.
  • Promote maximized produced-water reuse which will minimize use of freshwater in unconventional gas development and production.
  • Compile Uinta Basin produced-water management practices and recommend best practices.
  • Seek to increase protection of critical Uinta Basin alluvial aquifers.

Problem Statement

Statement of the Problem

  • The production and disposal of water from shale/tight-sand gas reservoirs affects the economics of gas resource development and has recently become a topic of much public debate because produced water is the largest-volume waste stream associated with these unconventional gas plays.
  • Managing produced water can be a significant cost fraction of the value of the gas extracted, so there is an economic incentive to minimize this waste stream, and/or generate revenue from treating and reusing produced water in hydrocarbon production or other applications.
  • Managing produced water is complicated by an environment where many individual operators of varying sizes exist within a field, each with varying water needs and production, and a production timescale of decades as wells play out and new ones are completed.
  • Balancing the water-use needs and produced-water disposal requirements associated with shale/tight-sand gas development creates significant material handling challenges to both industry and regulators. These challenges include:
    • understanding the variable chemistry of the produced water;
    • determining the various quality needs of the potential reuses;
    • managing transport from widely distributed sources to use or disposal facilities;
    • optimizing treatment facility siting to minimize transport distances and account for the varying volume and quality of water produced over time; and,
    • identifying available disposal options for unusable produced water.
  • Deciding how to manage large volumes of produced water, whether for disposal, reuse, or energy production requires a number of major decision options.
Project Tasks

Project Tasks

Geospatial and geohydrological database assembly and evaluation for every major aquifer/unconventional reservoir from the surface down through the Jurassic Glen Canyon Group

  • Collect well data
  • Collect water data for produced water
  • Collect surface water infrastructure data
  • Collect subsurface water infrastructure data
  • Collect freshwater aquifer data

Geohydrological aquifer/reservoir GIS model development and validation

  • Aquifer mapping
  • Produced-water mapping
  • Surface-water management infrastructure mapping
  • Subsurface-water management infrastructure mapping
  • Aquifer vulnerability mapping

Geo-statistical analysis of produced-water streams and geologic parameters

  • Geo-statistical analysis of produced-water volume and quality
  • Analysis for possible geothermal uses
  • Geo-statistical analysis of geologic parameters

Analysis of produced-water management practices and recommendation of best management practices

Presentations

Presentations

Basin-Scale Produced Water Management Tools & Options—GIS Based Models & Statistical Analysis of Shale Gas/Tight Sand Reservoirs & Their Produced Water Streams, Uinta Basin, Utah
Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Utah Geological Survey
Presented at the RPSEA (Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America) Onshore Technology Workshop, Denver, Colorado, August 2015.

PowerPoint presentation file. Presentation

Oil and Gas in the Uinta Basin, Utah, USA: What to Do with the Produced Water?
Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr. and others, Utah Geological Survey
Presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado, June 2015.

PowerPoint presentation file. Presentation

Geothermal Assessment and Modeling of the Uinta Basin, Utah
Christian L. Hardwick, Hobie W. Willis, Mark Gwynn
Presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists-RMS meeting, Denver, CO, July 2014.

pdf file. Poster pt. 1
Poster pt. 2

Oil and Gas in the Uinta Basin, Utah – What to Do with the Produced Water?
Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Utah Geological Survey
Presented at the EPA Oil and Gas Muster, Denver, CO, November 10, 2014.

PowerPoint presentation file. Presentation

Tight-Gas Produced Water Modeling of Mesaverde Group Sandstones in the Uinta Basin
Peter J. Nielsen, Rebekah E. Wood, and Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Utah Geological Survey
Presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists-RMS meeting, Denver, CO, July 2014.

pdf file. Poster

Development of Produced Water Management Tools for the Uinta Basin, Utah
Dave Tabet, Utah Geological Survey
Presented at RPSEA On-Shore Production Conference, September 10, 2014.

PowerPoint presentation file. Presentation

Basin-Scale Analysis and Options for Produced Water from Tight-Gas Sand Reservoirs, Uinta Basin, Utah
David Tabet, Thomas Chidsey, Jr., Craig Morgan, Robert Ressetar, Peter Nielsen, Rebekah Wood, Taylor Boden, Stephanie Carney, Michael Vanden Berg, Stefan Kirby, Hobie Willis, Christian Hardwick, and Richard Emerson; Utah Geological Survey
Presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists-RMS meeting, Denver, CO, July 2014.

pdf file. Poster

Basin-Scale Analysis, Management Project and Regional Overview Tools, and Options for Produced Water from Tight-Gas Sand Reservoirs, Uinta Basin, Utah
David E. Tabet and Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Utah Geological Survey
Presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 2014.

pdf file. Poster

Water quality from alluvial wells and springs in the Uinta Basin, eastern Utah

Janae Wallace, Utah Geological Survey
Presented at Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 2013.

pdf file. Poster

Basin-scale produced-water management tools and options
GIS-based models and statistical analysis of shale gas/tight sand reservoirs and their produced-water streams, Uinta Basin, Utah: Progress Report

Thomas Chidsey, Utah Geological Survey
Presented at Uinta Basin Oil & Gas Collaborative Group Meeting July 2013.

pdf file. Presentation

Basin-scale produced-water management tools and options
GIS-based models and statistical analysis of shale gas/tight sand reservoirs and their produced-water streams, Uinta Basin, Utah

Thomas Chidsey, Utah Geological Survey
Presented at Uinta Basin Oil & Gas Collaborative Group Meeting January 2013.

pdf file. Presentation

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Survey Notes Article
Participants

Participants

Technical Advisory Board/Project Consortium

  • QEP Resources, Inc.
  • Wind River Resources Corp.
  • Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
  • EOG Resources, Inc.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Collaborating Regulatory Agencies

  • Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining
  • Utah Division of Water Rights
  • Utah Division of Water Resources
  • Utah Department of Environmental Quality
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Contact

Contact

Thomas C. Chidsey, Principal Investigator, 801.537.3364, email:tomchidsey@utah.gov.