Our President and CEO, Laura Capper, was invited to the 5th Annual Energy Symposium hosted by Oklahoma University by OU / OGS Hydrologist Kyle Murray, Session Moderator.

Laura, along with the other panelists Jim Summers and Bill Way, address the topics of water management, recycling, reuse, transportation, and the “salt dilemma”.  Other panelists in the forum covered topics including big picture energy issues and the logical melding of conventional, unconventional, and alternative supply, seismicity, and carbon learnings, and impacts.

Key takeaways from the water team as moderated by Kyle Murray:

  • We’ve come a long way in reducing freshwater consumption with recycling and reuse programs, and operators, led by companies such as Southwestern, are striving to be freshwater neutral, or additive, returning more than they consume.
  • The business of managing oilfield water is extraordinarily complex due to extreme variability across basins, and extreme fluctuations in water quality at the local level.  Few influents operate at steady state, allowing for optimization.
  • The disposal and reuse issue is bigger than the oil industry; as the industry returns more produced water than our industry can consume.  Cross-industry collaboration is needed to make this water available to other industries like agriculture and livestock, in the form of beneficial reuse, with support and funding at federal levels.
  • Finding new markets and innovative uses for the extraordinarily high volumes of salt present in produced water will be key to successful beneficial reuse problems.