May 8,2014 by Matthew Tresaugue
Water may be everywhere in the Gulf of Mexico, but it’s becoming increasingly scarce in many other areas where oil and gas is produced. “Water is already a crucial issue and will shape the future,” said Emmanuel Garland, an environmental expert for Total Exploration, during an Offshore Technology Conference session Tuesday.
Energy companies consume water for drilling and cooling, among other uses, and it now accounts for up to 25 percent of project costs, Garland said.
At the same time, less water is available because of swelling population, worsening water quality and a changing climate. The National Climate Assessment released Tuesday by the Obama administration showed that the Gulf Coast is especially vulnerable to higher temperatures and decreased availability of water.
Moving forward, companies must limit consumption, increase reuse of wastewater and reduce the impact of discharges on the environment, Garland said, because future operating licenses probably will depend on a company’s demonstrated ability to conserve water.
Special thanks to Richard Charter