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posted on 14 June 2017

Infographic Of The Day: The Next Big Hurdle For Oil And Gas Is Water Use

In some counties in the U.S., especially those with lots of oil and gas activity, there are billions of gallons of waste water, brackish water, or saline water that aren't potable for human consumption. At the same time, these counties are receiving limited rainfall, and freshwater has become an increasingly scarce and valuable commodity.

The fact is, horizontal drilling and fracking operations use large amounts of water. In 2008, an average of just 5,618 barrels of water were used for the injection stage of fracking according to the USGS. In 2014, that ballooned to 128,102 barrels of water for a oil well, and 162,906 barrels for a gas well.

Simultaneously, the Government Accountability Office estimates that 40 of 50 states have at least one region that will face some kind of water shortage by 2023. This crisis has increased social and regulatory pressures on oil and gas firms, while making the supply of usable water less dependable.

[editor's note: the drought map in this infographic is out of date. the current situation is less ominous.]

[click here to enlarge infographic]


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