A Water Stewardship Evaluation Model for Oil and Gas Operators

  •  Huishu Li    
  •  Finlay Carlson    
  •  Asma Hanif    
  •  Josh Zier    
  •  Kenneth Carlson    


The rise of the unconventional oil and gas (UOG) industry over the last two decades has transformed the domestic energy outlook but raised concerns over environmental impacts. With the evolution of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) reporting allowing for a transparent view of oilfield operations, the evaluation of corporate sustainability has become increasingly feasible. Even with increased reporting, there have been very few quantifiable metrics for sustainable water management practices in the UOG industry due to the focus being primarily on methane emissions in recent years. This study aims to provide a practical, quantitative, and concise method (two-parameter based - Quadrant Plot) to evaluate UOG operators' performance in minimizing the negative impacts of freshwater use for drilling and fracking. Parameters (%Freshwater and %Salt Water Disposal) used in this performance matrix have been optimized to gather as much information as possible and while being compatible with operators' existing data collection. This study discusses how the Quadrant Plot could quantify the water performance using private and public data from over 20 unconventional oil and gas operators. This quantitative assessment not only enables the determination of a static performance score but also allows for the depiction of changes in performance over time.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0569
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0577
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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