At a dusty Texas oilfield, Apache Corp has eliminated its reliance on what arguably could be the biggest long-term constraint for fracking wells in the arid western United States: scarce freshwater.
Typically, millions of gallons of water are required for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of a single well. In Irion County, where Apache is drilling dozens of Wolfcamp shale wells in the Permian Basin, the company is meeting its water needs for hydraulic fracturing by using brackish water from the Santa Rosa aquifer and recycling produced water from wells and fracking operations.
The company's approach could have broader significance for areas prone to drought.
November 21, 2013.