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The Permian is booming again as operators re-drill the entire basin. Rig counts have doubled since 2010. Production has increased by 43% since 2013, and is expected to grow up to 3.5 million barrels per day in 10 years. The sweeping move from vertical to horizontal drilling in the region combined with mounting natural growth is expected to drive spending up to $18 billion dollars in the Permian in 2015.
However, water remains the biggest challenge in the region. Critical and persistent drought has forced many producers to innovate with alternate water sources in produced and brackish water. Many operators in the basin are collaborating to reach 100% use of brackish/produced water for drilling operations in the Permian. Even with this commitment, recycled/reused water presents some of the same hurdles as fresh water, including-transport, storage, treatment and disposal. Lack of necessary water infrastructure to support the new boom also presents a large hurdle. In order to profit from this age of revival, producers must incorporate foresight by planning tomorrow’s water management strategies today.
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