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The potential water demand for fracturing fluids along with the possible flowback and produced water production is assessed for the Dutch Posidonia shale. Total water demand estimated for 25 years of the field development using historic data from the U.S. plays varies between 12.2 and 36.9 Mm. The maximal annual water consumption of 0.95-2.88 Mm is expected in the peak years of shale gas production. These figures are much lower than the availability of any potential water sources, which include drinking water, fresh and brackish groundwater, river water, effluents of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and sea water. River water is considered the most promising water source for fracturing fluids in the Dutch Posidonia shale based on its availability (>6·10 Mm/year) and quality (only bacterial composition needs to be controlled). Total wastewater production for the whole period of the field development is estimated between 6.6 and 48.0 Mm. Wastewater recycling can cover significant part of the source water demand for fracturing fluid. However, high mineral content of the wastewater as well as temporal and spatial discrepancies between wastewater production and water demand will form obstacles for wastewater recycling. The assessment framework developed in this study may be applied for other shale gas fields with high uncertainties regarding subsurface properties, connate formation water characteristics and future legislative framework.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of environmental management
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