For every barrel of oil produced from the average Permian Basin well, about three barrels of water get pumped out with it. The water-to-oil ratio is lowest in the established Midland Basin, but more exaggerated in the Delaware and other Texas basins.
A midstream water management industry has grown up in Texas alongside the shale oil boom. Most of the water gets injected back underground into disposal wells, although more and more is getting treated and moved to other drilling sites to frack new wells.
Still, more research and infrastructure will be needed to handle the growing volumes of produced water if Permian production growth continues even at the recently scaled-back projected levels.
Permian oil producers want to get a better handle on produced water before it becomes a crisis,