Water is the critical element for the development of the shale play due to the large volumes of water needed to hydraulically fracture the wells. The range of volumes needed are anywhere from 1.5 million gallons for a typical vertical well to 5 million or more gallons for a horizontal well.
Navigating the varying rules associated with local, state and federal regulatory agencies is an essential element to successfully securing ample water supply for your drilling needs.
Water Withdrawal Permitting
ARM has the experience to secure water supplies for our natural gas clients, having successfully obtained multiple large-volume permits throughout the Appalachian Basin. ARM has developed and secured approval for many Water Management Plan’s (WMP’s) for operators in the shale play. Timeline management is important to staying on course for drilling development. Turnaround times for water supply permits vary depending on the applicable watershed in which a company is operating. ARM can help manage the expected permit timelines using its experience in permitting withdrawal points across the state and, therefore, allow companies to stay on course with their drilling schedules. In addition, ARM has experience in identifying sustainable water sources that reduce potential environmental impacts and minimize the need for trucking water by direct piping to impoundments.
The use of water for drilling and hydraulic fracturing is considered a consumptive use of water since it is not returned to the environment. A “consumptive use permit” is required for operators within a river basin. A consumptive use permit is needed for each drilling pad before any drilling operations can commence and is, therefore, just as crucial as the water supply permitting process. ARM has the expertise to secure consumptive use permits throughout the Appalachian Basin, having successfully done so for multiple companies. ARM hydrogeologists provide an integrated approach to managing water use for Marcellus operations to ensure cost-effective and environmentally sound development of natural gas.
Water Intake and Water Line Design
The ARM team consists of a highly technical staff of engineers, hydrogeologists and geologists who understand the regulatory environment and strategic planning and logistics involved in water intake systems, pumps, and water transfer lines.
Oil and gas companies are continuously challenged with the regulatory administration, docket management, design-build construction of intake sites, and logistics of transferring water from their intake locations.
ARM can assist in the development of intake points by providing intake docket applications, regulatory permitting requirements (intake and crossing permits, submerged land licenses, metering plans, water management plans, Highway Occupancy Permits, etc.), design-build intake and pipeline construction, and logistics of all water transfer needs.