Advancements in drilling techniques have broadened possibilities for producing hydrocarbons; but the innovations of unconventional drilling have exacerbated existing threats that the oil and gas industry have posed to water resources while creating new challenges. In today's industry, conventional methods of drilling for free-flowing crude oil are playing a secondary role to unconventional oil and gas production capable of bringing hydrocarbons trapped in tight or previously inaccessible geologic formations. Compared to conventional production, unconventional methods use much greater amounts of water in chemical-laden processes that can impact the availability and purity of freshwater resources in concentrated localities where those mineral reserves are clustered.
Mineral Law Series
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
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Water Acquisition and Management for Oil & Gas Development: Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Jessica Foster & Gabriel Eckstein,
Framework of Surface and Ground Water in Oklahoma and Texas: Perspectives for Oil and Gas Development,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/facscholar/1182