By Dr. Robert Bruant
Permanent water pipelines are a crucial piece of oil and gas infrastructure, enabling the efficient transfer of water between points of production, use, and/or disposal. Despite high up-front costs, properly sized and utilized water pipelines offer significant cost savings per barrel of water moved versus traditional trucking (often by a factor of ten or more). Additionally, pipeline utilization generally reduces truck traffic, offering benefits such as less wear-and-tear on roads, fewer vehicle accidents, decreased tailpipe emissions, and less truck noise for communities. Providing a means for high volume water transportation also allows for dissociation of points of production from use and disposal, therefore broadening water management options.
To incur many of the noted benefits, optimal utilization of fixed pipeline capacity is necessary. Underutilization increases breakeven costs and propagates inefficient use of resources, such as disposing water that could instead be reused or drilling additional disposal wells when disposal capacity is available elsewhere. Unfortunately, there is no centralized source of water pipeline data in Texas to broadcast pipeline presence and availability. At best, pipeline owners and operators provide descriptions on their websites or within investor presentations, but this is often only an approximation of actual infrastructure.
Despite these limitations, B3 Insight gathers, aggregates, and harmonizes all publicly available information about oil, gas, and water pipelines. Interactive maps are provided in our OilfieldH2O platform, which include pipeline location, size, type of water transported (e.g., fresh, produced, reused/recycled), and points of connection, as available. With this framework, we integrate additional detailed infrastructure descriptions provided directly by operators, often only available to B3. Our goal is to provide the most accurate and complete accounting of water movement throughout the Permian Basin to optimize utilization of all associated resources and increase access to the benefits of water pipelines.
We develop technology and insight that enable you to make responsible and profitable decisions about water resources. B3’s flagship product is the leading water intelligence platform for upstream energy. See what B3 Insight can do for you.