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We recognize that our water requirements require customized approaches to water management.
Water is used throughout natural gas development. Initial drilling operations typically require a relatively small fraction of our total water demand and drilling fluids are often re-circulated throughout the operation. We may use between 300 and 3,000 cubic metres (approximately 2,000 and 19,000 barrels) of water to drill a shale gas well.
Most of our water use occurs during hydraulic fracturing, where water acts as the primary carrier fluid, carrying sand and additives down the wellbore and into the producing rock formation. Water and sand usually make up more than 99.5 percent of the fluid used to hydraulically fracture a well. The amount of water we use to fracture a well varies, depending on the number of fracture stages and the composition of the target rock formation.
Depending on the geology, we may use anywhere between 200 and 120,000 cubic metres (approximately 1,400 to 750,000 barrels) of water to complete a well.