Enhanced Oil Recovery Water Use
Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) uses the most nonsaline water of all other recovery technologies. EOR requires water to be injected into a well to increase or maintain its pressure so that the oil can be recovered at other nearby wells.
In 2016, EOR used 14 million cubic metres of nonsaline water (14 per cent of all water allocated for EOR) to produce 183 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE). Between 2012 and 2016, nonsaline water use intensity for EOR decreased by 25 per cent as production from EOR decreased by 16 per cent. This is mainly due to a decrease in EOR activity across the province.
In 2016, EOR used 0.49 barrels of nonsaline water to produce one BOE. Overall, EOR has shown a 15 per cent improvement in its nonsaline water use intensity from 2012 to 2016.
Future water use reports will show company-specific data for EOR.
Learn more in our detailed water use report for EOR (Tableau).
Hydraulic Fracturing Water Use
Hydraulic fracturing uses the least amount of nonsaline water among recovery technologies. In 2016, hydraulic fracturing companies used 7 million cubic metres of nonsaline water (11 per cent of all water allocated for hydraulic fracturing) to produce over 355 million BOE. The amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing in Alberta varies each year, depending on economic conditions that affect the number of wells that are drilled and fractured.
In 2016, hydraulic fracturing used 0.38 barrels of nonsaline water to produce one BOE. Overall, nonsaline water use intensity for hydraulic fracturing has increased by 35 per cent since 2013. This is because hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells is a relatively new use of the technology, and water use intensity is expected to vary as operators test different strategies and methods to optimize hydrocarbon production. Learn more about hydraulic fracturing.
Future water use reports will show company-specific data for hydraulic fracturing.
Learn more in our detailed water use report for hydraulic fracturing (Tableau).