Oilfield Water Weekly

We hope all readers are safe and staying warm in this wild weather event. We know that many of you are scrambling to deal with production and business continuity issues and we wish you well with the chaos in the field as well. Much of today’s newsletter focuses on the oilfield impacts of the freeze and related energy emergency.

Now here is this week’s water news…

News Digest

Freeze Shuts Fracking Down in Biggest U.S. Shale Basins

Fracking in the Permian Basin, America’s busiest shale field, is expected to stay “almost entirely shut down” through the end of this week, Joseph Triepke, founder of Infill Thinking, wrote in a report Tuesday. Fracking in America’s biggest shale basins has gone dark as 70% of U.S. completion crews (based on Lium's frac crew count) wait for an historic freeze to thaw out before they can return to work....

All Quiet On The Southwestern Front – 70% Of US Frac Activity Is Dark In The Big Freeze

In the report cited, above, our friends at Infill Thinking write: "completions activity has gone dark in 4 key basins (Permian, Eagle Ford, STACK/SCOOP, and Haynesville), which comprise roughly 70% of Lium’s U.S. Frac Fleet Count...."

Texas Power Plants Shut by Cold Left Pipes Exposed to Elements

Texas blackouts triggered by frozen power infrastructure have left many wondering why the state’s electricity generators weren’t prepared for the cold... “Some of it too is just the cost of capital,” said the industry research firm Infill Thinking...

NM Produced water bill dies in committee

A bill that would have made it illegal for oil and gas operators to spill produced water died in the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday. Produced water is the toxic flowback water generated in oil extraction.

UIC Application Trends

In August 2020, approximately 1 in 3 UIC applications received an average volume reduction of 34.6%!

Extreme Cold Wreaks Havoc With Natural Gas Producers, Power Generators, And Everybody In Between

The chaos spilled over into trading on ICE Tuesday morning, when regular trading resumed for next-day gas and cash trades left Friday’s record prices in the dust — cash trading opened just under $1,000/MMBtu at some Midcontinent pricing locations and the NGI index for Oklahoma Gas Transmission (OGT) posted at $945/MMBtu. Prices were so out of whack that the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) trading platform had to increase the maximum allowable price at some U.S. physical gas trading hubs, which just speaks to the level of pandemonium still gripping the physical gas market.

Oil Prices Rally as Cold Blast Hits Texas

Freezing weather boosts demand for fuel and power, while threatening oil-and-gas output in key production state

Natural-gas prices soar amid freezing U.S. temperatures

Natural-gas futures led an across-the-board surge in energy prices on Tuesday, as swaths of the U.S. struggled with subzero temperatures and rolling blackouts hit several states.

Up to 4 million b/d of downed US oil output being restored

Most of the projected 3 million b/d-4 million b/d of downed US crude oil production, which went offline after power failed and wellheads froze from brutally low temperatures and ice storms Feb. 14-15, could be restored by the weekend, S&P Global Platts Analytics estimated Feb. 16.

US Shale Could Face Weeks of Depressed Oil Production Due to Cold

Roughly 500,000 to 1.2 million bbl/d of crude production in Texas has been shut-in by the weather, which hit the state with the coldest temperatures in 30 years, Rystad Energy says.

Cold Cuts Permian Output by 1 Million Barrels Per Day

Permian oil production has plunged by as much as one million barrels a day as the coldest weather in 30 years brings havoc to a region that seldom faces frigid Arctic blasts.

Texas Winter Storm Highlights The Importance Of Fossil Fuels

The message that we need to electrify everything that currently uses fossil fuels to generate energy has become the dominant message of the energy transition. Solar, wind, and energy storage—perhaps with the help of hydropower and some nuclear—can handle the energy needs of mankind, the argument goes, and do it with a much lower carbon footprint.

Implications To Keep In Mind As The Permian Freezes And Pads Shut Down

Here we take it a step further, thinking through some of the ripple effects this winter weather will have on the most important oilfield market in the world today:

Permian E&Ps Started Shutting Fracs Down Well In Advance Of The Weather Event

We were aware that one Major was halting work on Permian pads starting last Thursday evening at 6pm and another had already taken pads to inactive status until further notice.

New Monthly Frac Fleet Data Report [Chart Of The Day]

We wanted to make sure Oilfield Water Connection readers are aware of a free new data service to follow the frac fleet. The first edition of the Lium Monthly Shale Fleets report was released last week...

XRI’s COO, Dr. Christopher Harich, Joins Texas Water and Energy Institute Advisory Board

XRI’s Dr. Harich will join a group of leaders from industry and academia who have extensive knowledge about the strong connection between water and energy. His expertise as a water resource engineer and hydrologist, as well as his ESG, water recycling and treatment, and water midstream experience will advance the goals of the Texas Water and Energy Institute (TWEI).

Biden Plans to Ban All New Fracking Leases on Public Land. Will He Actually Do It?

The federal Bureau of Land Management has a habit of auctioning off parcels of its land to oil and gas developments. For years, Texas cities and environmentalists have sounded the alarm about the arrangements.

NM Bill to Make Oil Spills Illegal Voted Down

Stricter regulations for produced water and increase penalties for spills by fossil fuel operators stalled in New Mexico’s Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, on a unanimous vote to table the bill.

EPA settlement with Fleur de Lis resolves oil spills affecting surface waters in Wyoming

Agreement resolves spills and lack of adequate spill prevention and response plans at facilities in Natrona and Johnson Counties


As the number of injection wells grows in Ohio, local communities want some control over where these wells are located.

Shale Gas Wastewater Recycling Attacked by Heinz Endowments Shills

Shale gas wastewater recycling is one of the big fracking successes which is why it’s being attacked by Heinz Endowments shills.

Quick Takes On Produced Water Impacts In The Wake Of The Freeze

Proactive steps and production curtailment are both helping lessen the blow on oilfield water infrastructure from record low temps for multiple days in southwestern production regions.

Two Truths About Energy Transition Are Self Evident In The Texas Energy Emergency

The Texas energy emergency is already being rashly politicized by both sides of the aisle. It's too early, and more political vitriol in a divided country is the last thing we need. Instead, let's focus on getting the lights on and then all take a moment to step back, question our own beliefs and the status quo energy mix. Let's allow hard data - not polarized politics and partisan ideals - to play the central role in developing realistic goals for our generation's energy legacy.

Quick Takes On Produced Water Impacts In The Wake Of The Freeze

Proactive steps and production curtailment are both helping lessen the blow on oilfield water infrastructure from record low temps for multiple days in southwestern production regions.


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