Unconventional shale gas production in the United States has been largely improved due to development of hydraulic fracturing technology. However, the acquisition of freshwater and management of flowback and produced (FP) water associated with hydraulic fracturing operation becomes one of the greatest challenges in shale gas development. Thus, it requires a better understanding of the quantity of injected water and produced FP water as well as their relationship of shale wells to help expand and upgrade the existing water network and shale gas network. We collected water-use and monthly FP water production volume data for each shale gas well available in the Eagle Ford and Marcellus shale regions from multiple database sources. Then, water recovery ratios of these wells were calculated to study their spatiotemporal variation among counties over multiple time periods. To evaluate how the water recovery ratio may affect shale gas development, a shale gas supply chain network (SGSCN) optimization model from the literature was utilized to perform two case studies in the Marcellus region. In conclusion, significantly different SGSCN configurations are required for economically desirable, and practically feasible management of wells with different water recovery ratios.
Keywords shale gas, hydraulic fracturing, water management, water recovery ratio, supply chain network