Oil and Gas Produced Water Reuse: Opportunities, Treatment Needs, and Challenges

Carolyn Cooper, James McCall, Sean Stokes, Cameron McKay, Matthew Bentley, James Rosenblum, Tamzin Blewett, Zhe Huang, Ariel Miara, Michael Talmadge, Anna Evans, Kurban Sitterley, Parthiv Kurup, Jennifer Stokes-Draut, Jordan Macknick, Thomas Borch, Tzahi Cath, Lynn Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus Citations


Advances in water treatment technologies paired with potential restrictions on oil and gas (O&G) produced water disposal could incentivize the beneficial reuse of treated produced water in the O&G industry. However, the remote nature of O&G operations limits the applicability of many of these solutions, which may be spatially inefficient, require operator supervision, or are ill-suited for the complex nature of produced water. Furthermore, the responsible, sustainable reuse of produced water as an alternative water source requires standardized analytical techniques for characterizing and determining the toxicity of treated produced water and improving our understanding of the fate and transport of various constituents. In the past decade, we made little progress in economically treating produced water for beneficial reuse outside of oilfield operations; the sole major breakthrough has been in the development of salt-tolerant fracturing chemicals that allow for reuse of produced water for fracking operations. Guided research should assist in the development of fit-for-purpose solutions to maximize the reuse of treated produced water. This is exemplified by the case studies presented here that detail currently operating treatment facilities for reclamation and reuse of produced water.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)347-366
Number of pages20
JournalACS ES and T Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-80380


  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Technoeconomic Analysis
  • Toxicity
  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Water Reuse


Dive into the research topics of 'Oil and Gas Produced Water Reuse: Opportunities, Treatment Needs, and Challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this