To learn more about shale gas production in IOGCC member states visit the Shale Gas state progress map. Fact sheets about Shale Gas production, authored by the SGD, are available here. Presentation slides for "Creating Successful Community Partnerships -- Carrizzo-Wilcox Aquifer Collaboration" are available here.
Louisiana partnership, Oil & Gas Journal, Nick Snow, October 11, 2010.
An earlier session described a Louisiana success story when state regulators, producers and scientists from Louisiana State University worked together to start solving water problems with the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer around Shreveport as Haynesville shale gas production intensified. The aquifer, which historically had provided good water supplies for residents and agriculture in a generally rural part of the state, started to run dry when producers drilled a large number of wells for water.
“The situation required the cooperation of state oil and gas regulators, local governments, interested parties, and of course producers,” said Jim Welsh, the state's conservation commissioner. “It's a tremendously good source that's restocked by the Red River alluvial aquifer. The solution was for Haynesville well operators to start using water from other sources.”
Louisiana State University established its Red River Watershed Institute 10 years ago at its Shreveport campus, which was already working with local communities and parishes and had constructed a riverside research park, recalled Gary Hanson, the institute's director. “It's very fortunate we were in place when the Haynesville boom hit,” he said. “We were able to provide some order during a period which normally would have been chaotic.”
The institute's 17 water monitoring stations helped show a relationship between the gas producers' water well withdrawals and shortages other users encountered after forming a water-energy working group, he said. “Once the industry saw there was a problem with groundwater, it started using more surface water,” he said. “Now, the Haynesville shale's three biggest producers—Chesapeake Energy Corp., Encana Corp., and Petrohawk Energy Corp.—primarily use surface water.”
Mike Mathis, Chesapeake Energy’s regulatory affairs director for water programs, said the independent producer gets about 90% of its Haynesville fracing water from surface sources. “There's a lot of surface water in this play and we're fortunate to have it,” he said. “Some of it is in inconvenient locations, which can pose a challenge. We try to work closely with communities, water authorities, and landowners. It's incumbent on the industry for its members to be at the table and be good corporate citizens.”
“We have to be willing to work with facts, not fear,” said Hanson. “We have to be ready to sit across the table from each other and work together to produce this gas and protect the environment.”