The development of unconventional resources in tight shales has
stimulated considerable growth of oil and gas production in Northeastern
Colorado, but has led to concerns about added demands on the region’s strained
water resources. Northeastern Colorado’s semi-arid environment, population growth,
competing water demands and uncertainty about drilling and hydraulic fracturing
water requirements have resulted in scrutiny and conflict surrounding water use for tight
shales. This study collects water use data from wells in Northeastern Colorado
to improve water estimates and to better understand important contributing
factors. Most water resource studies use estimates for the number of future
wells to predict water demands. This study shows that the number of
hydraulic fracturing stages is a better measure of the future water demands for
horizontal wells. Vertical wells use significantly less water than horizontal
wells and will be less prevalent in the future.
Cite this paper
S. Goodwin, K. Carlson, B. Bai, L. Rein, K. Knox and C. Douglas, "Improved Water Use Estimates for Drilling and Hydrualic Fracturing in Northeastern Colorado," Journal of Water Resource and Protection
, Vol. 5 No. 12, 2013, pp. 1262-1267. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.512135
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