It all begins with source water

When selecting source water, the evaluation should be inclusive of what’s in the water. Every water is different and has a different microbial community. Two waters could have the exact same number of microbes: one source has all harmless, non-threatening microbes, and the other has all microbes capable of well-souring. Ideally, given the choice, you wouldn’t frac with the souring-related microbes and would choose the harmless microbes. By knowing the microbial threats in each source you can adjust your biocide treatment program accordingly.

When is water not water anymore?

Look at water as a vehicle. It is a key component of your fluid package helping deliver sand, inhibitors, friction reducers and other chemistries in, and debris out. Every time we use a water source, we leave behind industrial chemicals and formation chemistries. Every time we reuse that water, we are increasing the load that water must carry. It is water plus everything else, creating a balancing act of functionality. You can frac with any water, but the more it is carrying the harder it can be to treat. Water can carry microbes out of the formation, bringing them to surface, perpetuating top-side growth of formation loving microbes. This is the reason why we say water can get harder to treat. Don’t be afraid to adjust your biocide dosage to overcome the challenges associated with highly recycled waters.

Did you know?

Microbes are everywhere, even in source water!
Each water will provide different nutrients and experience different environmental changes. If your water changes, so will your microbial community. You can’t make changes in any one part of the program without affecting another.
Water connects us all.
We live in a closed system. There is no new water being made. With this knowledge, we need to make wise choices with the water we currently have. Whether it be water for drilling, completions or waterflood applications, the choice to reuse and recycle requires forethought and planning. Water treatment decisions during drilling and treatment operations have a dramatic impact on not only the life cycle of the well, but also on facility and pipeline operations. Relatively speaking, proper testing and treatment programs cost pennies up front, but save dollars and downtime downstream of drilling and completions operations. These savings include water reuse instead of disposal, in-situ compatibility and a reduction in reservoir and production issues.
Even 'clean' water should be treated with a biocide.
For fracturing and production applications, a common question heard when sending water downhole is why treat clean water with a biocide. The short answer: All characteristics of water need to be considered in any chemical application when determining microbial cleanliness. The cleanest looking water has the potential of harboring very high microbial counts. Fresh water may be no less contaminated than produced waters sitting in a tank.

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