Water management

Asset 20

The cost index is a semi-annual report with 50+ anonymized cost metrics for the entire lifecycle of water. It is the only report to benchmark water management costs against peers and the market.


The report helps operators:

  • Ensure effective governance for water management expenditure
  • Analyze peer spending strategies to identify cost savings opportunities and maximize capital efficiency
  • Streamline procurement and RFPs with actual market costs instead of bid-pricing
  • Align investments with sustainability goals through measurable benchmarking



The Water Management Cost Index is a semi-annual report created from data provided by participating companies. The report provides participants with aggregated and comparative cost metrics for sourcing, recycling and produced water operations. Operators and water management companies whose operations include water sourcing, recycling or produced water disposal are eligible to participate.

  • Companies elect to participate in the program for a minimum of one year.
  • Participants receive a survey semi-annually and populate it with their company’s cost data over a specified reporting period.
  • Participants receive an alphanumeric company code and secure file location to upload the survey.
  • B3 verifies, anonymizes, normalizes, and aggregates the survey responses.
  • B3 delivers a semi-annual report with anonymized data from all participants.

The survey has three sections: sourced, produced and treated water. Each section has questions that cover whole lifecycle water management costs, grouped into categories.  

The cost categories include:

  • Royalties
  • Rental and Services
  • Labor
  • Utility
  • Maintenance
  • Environmental
  • Chemical
  • External Disposal
  • Trucking
  • Other

For each question, participants report the average dollar-per-barrel spent over the specified reporting period.

Participants are asked to provide complete answers for all the survey questions. Due to the nuances in water management operations and variations from company to company, some questions may not be applicable to every participant

Participants are asked to diligently capture all requested data to provide a complete and accurate survey that represents true water management costs. However, not all questions in the survey will apply to every participant. For each question, participants are asked to provide clarifying commentary to help B3 better understand their responses.

Responses are due within 30 business days of receiving the survey. On average, the initial survey requires 12 hours of the participants’ time; subsequent surveys require considerably less time. B3 will meet with each participant to discuss their survey responses.

B3 provides a secure location for each participant to send and receive data. Participants report their costs in normalized dollars-per-barrel, which ensures that all responses are confidential and normalized to a common denominator. After receiving the survey responses, B3 meets with each participant to ensure clarity and accuracy, and verify that all metrics are compared equally across each cost section. 

Each participant is assigned an alphanumeric code, so their company name is never associated with the data set. The final delivered report identifies participants by their unique code and includes blinded data from other participants for comparative analysis. Each participant receives a unique report with their data and all other participant data, so participants can directly compare their water costs to the rest of the group’s. 

B3 uses Microsoft Azure to ensure security for cloud based computing
within our organization.

Cost Index data is currently available for the Permian Basin with several of the largest and most active US operators currently participating. B3 is actively seeking participation from operators and water management companies in all U.S. onshore basins.  

Three or more participants are required to kick off a new basin. The benefit to companies participating in a new basin Cost Index program is that they can provide guidance on the cost metrics included in the survey. 

Contact Pat Patton at [email protected] or 970-219-5236

Companies can join at any time throughout the year and will be included in the next reporting cycle. New participants can also elect to provide data for previous reporting cycles. That data will be compiled by B3 and published in a revised report. 

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