Characterization of Produced Water in the Permian Basin for Potential Beneficial Use

Published Date:
February 2022

Pei Xu, Yanyan Zhang, Wenbin Jiang, Lei Hu, Xuesong Xu, Kenneth C. Carroll, Naima Khan

The rapid development of the unconventional oil and gas industry has promoted economic growth in the southwestern region of the United States. One of the major barriers for using treated produced water as an alternative water source is the lack of a comprehensive assessment of produced water quality and environmental toxicity. In this study, we employed advanced analytical methods to measure more than 300 targeted analytes including inorganics (e.g., salts, major ions, and metals), organics (e.g., total organic carbon, volatile and semi-volatile organic contaminants), and radionuclides in produced water. In vitro assays were developed as valuable tools for the toxicity assessment of produced water. Overall, an understanding of the physicochemical and toxicological properties of produced water is critical for establishing management practices, proper risk assessment, spill response, treatment, and beneficial use applications.

Technical Report 398

Water quality, produced water characterization, Permian Basin, Pecos River, water reuse