Water Has ALWAYS Been More Valuable Than Oil
Artesian fresh water flow in the Los Angles Basin, circ. 1920.
"Whiskey is for drinking and water is to fight over," so said Mark Twain.
Folks in West Texas think they have enough water to frac all those stinking shale oil wells but man-o-man, that's a lot of water. 350 wells per month X 550,000 BW per well = 8.1 billion, with a big 'ol B, gallons per month, coming from... somewhere. That's enough water for 95,000,000 human beings to consume. And that's just one month. Some of this frac source water is recycled produced water, how much NOBODY knows; got it. But produced water can't be recycled over and over again because at some point TDS content becomes too high to remove.
The fresh water use for frac'ing in West Texas is alarming. So is the associated gas that is flared and forever wasted. Rystad recently suggested that light tight oil production will grow another 12MM BOPD by the year 2025; the EIA, in fact, says 75% of all future shale oil growth in America will come from the Permian. Most of that LTO growth will be exported. Then, in the next eight years, the shale oil phenomena will on the downhill slide and we'll be back to buying OPEC oil, for three times more the price than we're exporting it now.
And West Texas will be a dust bowl...