WATER TOPIC PURPOSE
In a new era of unconventional resources and energy independence, GE and Statoil are launching an Open Innovation Challenge to accelerate the development of more environmentally and economically sustainable energy solutions to help fuel the future.
Water is crucial in the hydraulic fracturing process. Sand and water make up more than 99.5% of the fluid currently used in the fracturing process. A horizontal well is fractured in multi stages, where several hundred thousands barrels of water is used. The quality of the water is important in order for the additives used in the process to work efficiently and to prevent scaling the well. After hydraulic fracturing a well, the well produces hydrocarbons and produced water for many years ahead. This produced water can either be disposed into a disposal well or recycled.
To minimize the number of truck trips needed during the completions and production phase, GE and Statoil are seeking innovative technologies to reduce the use of fresh water. By identifying solutions that will reduce the number of truck loads required, the Challenge will help bring about an improvement on the environment for affected communities, reduce the overall emissions related to the transportation of water, and make energy production more sustainable over the long-term.
The innovative application of technology to the proven techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has unlocked vast energy potential from previously inaccessible shale rocks. Now, the industry must also advance the critical processes that are necessary for production, such as trucking and fresh water use. GE and Statoil are constantly seeking to improve the operations of oil and gas production and have launched this Challenge to invite innovators around the world to help identify better and more efficient ways to do business.