Wastewater Management for Shale Hydrocarbon Extraction

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Date

2013-04

Authors

Kutchins, Courtney
Zhu, Nairuo

Advisors

Jackson, Robert B.
Hashmi, Hiba

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Abstract

Wastewater generation poses significant challenges to the future of shale oil and gas extraction. With the rapid expansion of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling operations, solutions for wastewater management are in high demand. This client project for Waste Management, Inc. reviews characteristics of produced and flow-back water in ten active shale formations, federal and state regulatory constraints on water supply and management practices in thirteen states, current wastewater management practices, and current and emerging wastewater treatment technologies. We conclude that recycling wastewater for reuse in additional hydraulic fracturing activities is preferred over other management practices. We evaluate current and emerging treatment technologies using criteria based on cost, potential environmental impact, potential community impact, regulatory requirements, suitability for waste stream characteristics, and other technological considerations. We employ a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to rank technologies and propose technologies for each shale formation.

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Citation

Kutchins, Courtney, Beth Yetter and Nairuo Zhu (2013). Wastewater Management for Shale Hydrocarbon Extraction. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6976.


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