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Building a Produced Water Budget for New Mexico: Phase I – Database Construction

August 25, 2021

Building a Produced Water Budget for New Mexico: Phase I – Database Construction

Published Date:

August 2021


Martha Cather, Raven Goswick


The primary objective of this research was to build a geospatial database of oilfield water volume information that could be linked to the existing produced water quality databases. The State of New Mexico provides water production and injection data on a monthly basis, by well. We have compiled this information into a database that will allow us to conduct temporospatial and stratigraphic analysis, to determine in greater detail locations and volumes of water production and injection, and in doing so to have a better understanding of the overall “budget” for oilfield waters in New Mexico. Data includes volumes by month, disposition (produced or injected), location (lat/long and section/township/range), current operator, and pool. Additional well information has been added, with some improvement to the data that is available from the original state data source. Produced water quality data from the Petroleum Recovery Research

Center (PRRC) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) databases is also provided. This database will be the basis for several other collaborative efforts including work with New Mexico State University (NMSU) on joining information with existing water quality data, with other researchers at New Mexico Tech (NMT) on examining impacts of injection to stress response in the Permian Basin, and with The University of New Mexico (UNM) on their efforts to identify water and wastewater management trends. A secondary objective of this study has been to try to establish collaborative efforts with operators/service providers to obtain detailed information not available from public sources on water usage, water composition, and recycling efforts. This information will allow us to check database numbers from public sources and begin to create a framework for a future risk assessment study.


Technical Report 395


produced water, water quality

The Feasibility of Utilizing Produced Water to Improve Drinking Water Supply in Southeastern New Mexico

September 8, 2020

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In 2016, the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute teamed up with communities, researchers, agencies, and industry to complete a project focused on the potential reuse of produced water. The purpose of this Project was for the NM WRRI to provide public water systems and communities in Lea and Eddy counties information that could potentially improve the sustainability of water supplies by understanding the available volumes of water produced during oil and gas extraction, commonly referred to as produced water, as a source of water to offset use of freshwater. In locations such as southeastern New Mexico, water users are heavily dependent on aquifers with low to insignificant recharge rates. In these locations, expanding the use of produced water offers the possibility of reducing demand for freshwater and reducing aquifer depletion rates, thereby improving water supply sustainability and protection of potable water sources.

Social Dynamics Surrounding Produced Water in Lea & Eddy Counties

July 15, 2020

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In the past few years, numerous state and national initiatives have started to focus on produced water as an alternative source for agricultural, industrial, or other purposes. The majority of research in this field concentrates on optimization of produced water treatment and related technologies. However, to fully understand the system, besides the cost-effective analysis, we would need to study the short- and long-term social impacts of such phenomenon on the individuals, and the society. In this proposal, we try to create an integrated System Dynamics simulation that reflects the socio-economical mechanisms in Lea and Eddy Counties in New Mexico. This simulation will be added to the hybrid model being created in parallel to this research.


NM Universities Produced Water Synthesis Project

August 6, 2020

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Produced water is a multifaceted phenomenon with complex hydrologic, social, economic, and environmental implications for human-natural systems. To better understand such implications, we need to equip ourselves with sophisticated analytical and computational tools that take such complexities into account. In this project, we will explore the possibility and usefulness of developing a hybrid, multi-method dynamic simulation modeling approach that considers both aggregate feedback and heterogeneous nature of the produced water problem. We will then identify potential questions that could be addressed exclusively by the hybrid method.

In January of 2020, NM WRRI initiated Year 1 of the NM Universities Produced Water Synthesis Project (NMUPWSP) with researchers at NM WRRI, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Tech, and The University of New Mexico (UNM). This collaboration is funded through state appropriations for a statewide water assessment. The project’s Year 1 goal was to synthesize information on produced water science and management. NMUPWSP has now completed Year 1 projects, resulting in the publication of the first two technical completion reports. The project is ongoing and has an overall goal of bringing together experts in the areas of treatment technology, geochemistry, seismology, hydrogeology, policy, data management and analysis, stakeholder engagement, and system science to provide an independent understanding of the broad implications of produced water management decisions on regional water budgets.

–(eNews Edition March 2021)

University Effort Full Title TR # Publish Date Authors Keywords
Utton Transboundary Resources Center (University of New Mexico) Analysis of the Relationship Between Current Regulatory and Legal Frameworks and the "Produced Water Act" TR-396 2022-08-21 00:00:00 Russo Baca, S.;Kupfer, A.;McLain, S.
University of New Mexico Analysis of the Relationship Between Water, Oil & Gas in New Mexico: Investigation of Past and Future Trend TR-390 2021-02-01 00:00:00 Thomson, B.M.;Chermak, J.M. Hydrofracturing, Produced Water
New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute Development of a Multi-method Dynamic Simulation Model: Exploring Opportunities for Produced Water Reuse TR-391 2021-03-01 00:00:00 Langarudi, S.P.;Sabie, R.P.;Bahaddin, B.;Fernald, A.G. Produced Water Management, Hybrid Modeling, Simulation, System Dynamics, Agent-based Modeling, Geospatial Analysis, Cross-scale Complexity
New Mexico State University Characterization of Produced Water in the Permian Basin for Potential Beneficial Use TR-398 2022-02-22 00:00:00 Xu, P.;Zhang, Y.;Jiang, W.;Hu, L.;Xu, X.;Carroll, K.C.;Khan, N.
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Building a Produced Water Budget for New Mexico: Phase I - Database Construction TR-395 2022-08-21 00:00:00 Cather, M.;Gallegos, C.;Chen, D.
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Monitoring of produced-waters-related seismicity and surface deformation in a three-dimensional geologic context in the Permian Basin, New Mexico TBD Coming Soon! Rinehart, A.;Litherland, M.;Grigg, J.;Grapenthin, R.
University Effort Full Title TR # Publish Date Authors Keywords