Consortium of Oil & Natural Gas Industry Leaders Form Committee to Address Water Needs in Marcellus Shale : Companies Recognize the Need for Enhanced Water Treatment and Recycling Techniques

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A consortium of energy companies active in the Appalachian Basin have organized to form the Appalachian Shale Water Conservation and Management Committee (ASWCMC). The founding members include: Anadarko Petroleum, Cabot Oil & Gas, Chesapeake Energy, Chief Oil & Gas, EOG Resources, Equitable Resources, J-W Operating, Marathon Oil Corporation and Range Resources. The ASWCMC has joined with the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), a leading research, development and training organization, and selected Tom Hayes as the Managing Director for the committee.

We will pursue other opportunities for research of industry pilot water treatment and recycling tests.

The Marcellus Shale formation, one of several Appalachian potential shale plays, is an emerging resource for natural gas in the country with potential reserves estimated to be as high as 50-200 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). As the shale development continues and new companies enter the Appalachian Basin, the companies participating in the ASWCMC will likely increase.

The mission of the ASWCMC is to develop best management practices and technical solutions for shale developments in the Appalachian Basin. The committee will work cooperatively with the appropriate regulatory agencies to ensure that water resources are managed in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Initial goals of the ASWCMC will be to determine current and future water needs, water quality specifications for drilling and hydraulic fracturing, and to identify technologies that provide solutions for water management and water conservation. "There are several water treatment and recycling techniques, some of which are being tested in other shale fields. The consortium has engaged GTI to help us identify the options available and help us find the best techniques for use in Appalachia and the Marcellus Shale development," said Len Paugh, Operations Manager with Range Resources.

Only around 200 wells have been drilled into the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin, but the industry recognized the need to responsibly manage water resources early. In April 2008, the ASWCMC organizers submitted a cooperative government-industry research proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy – National Energy Technology Laboratory. "The proposed project would include funding for studies to obtain water management information, to develop solutions to manage water streams associated with energy development and methods that minimize the demands on public water supplies," said Tom Hayes, Managing Director of the ASWCMC. "We will pursue other opportunities for research of industry pilot water treatment and recycling tests."

ASWCMC is a consortium of energy companies focused on efficient and responsible use of water in drilling, completion, and production operations associated with shale development in the Appalachian Region.

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Kristi Gittins
Chief Oil & Gas
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