August 13, 2018: What the Heck is a P18?
Spencer Williams
What the Heck is a P18?

Acronyms, abbreviations, and industry terms run rampant at B3.  We talk about RRC, UIC, SWD, H-10, DUC and the list goes on.  But, our conversations have been dominated over the last few months by one in particular – P-18.

“P-18” is the identifier for a Skim Oil/Condensate Report filed with the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC).  P-18 Reports are filed by operators of skimming or oil/water separation facilities to notify the RRC of the amount of water and skim oil received at the facility each month.

Why do we care about P-18 Reports? 

The risks to production in the Permian due to constraints in produced water takeaway and disposal capacity are known, and better understood every day by industry participants.  However, data on produced water volumes and disposal utilization by operator are scarce and challenging to access.

While the intended purpose of the P-18 Report is to identify hydrocarbons recovered from skimming facilities, by necessity it requires facility operators to report the amount of produced water received by the facility. Where skimming facilities are attached to salt water disposal wells (SWDs), this data provides a clear picture of the amount of water disposed at an SWD, by Producer, and from what lease.

While this data is reported to RRC monthly, historically, it has only been publicly accessible as paper, scanned documents, requiring data consumers to tediously scour and transcribe thousands of PDFs to perform any kind of comparative or regional analysis. Less than ideal!

Over the past several months, B3 has perfected a proprietary data digitization process, by which we’ve created digital data for hundreds of thousands of rows of P-18 produced water data, matched to SWDs.  This data enables users to analyze and understand facility specific and regional trends in water production, disposal utilization, commercial performance, and market share.

B3 customers are leveraging this data for strategic planning, project execution, and market development.   E&Ps are discovering new ways to evaluate their disposal footprint and costs. Service and water midstream groups have new competitive insight into regional market penetration by disposal operator and commercial arrangements on specific facilities.  We’re also seeing growth among the capital groups financing the oilfield water industry. Private equity investors can quickly evaluate both risk and opportunity on disposal assets, or on operators, based on their produced water takeaway capacity.

Our goal with this P-18 Report project is to support companies addressing produced water constraints with a comprehensive and data-driven view of industry activity. The scale of the produced water challenge will prohibit isolated, single-operator solutions, and will require industry collaboration.  Meaningful collaboration, in turn, will demand a reliable base of knowledge and information.  P-18 data fills a critical gap in this information base, and will therefore, play an important role in any meaningful solution.