Impact on oil and gas operations and how software can support operators
The introduction of Colorado House Bill 23-1242 represents a positive step forward in environmental policy for the state's oil and gas industry. This bill, focused on sustainable water usage, sets new standards in the state for conservation and reporting. These new standards present an opportunity not only for operators to increase their focus on water stewardship, but also to improve the efficiency of their administrative workflows and increase the productivity of their operations.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the key takeaways:
Operators must report on the use of water at each oil and gas location, detailing the use of water that enters and exits each site. Monthly reporting for each well began on September 1, 2023, and will be required quarterly for general operations from January 1, 2024.
Water stewardship regulations
The bill requires a reduction in freshwater usage and an increase in recycled or reused water in operations by December 31, 2024.
New or renewed permits after June 1, 2024, will include conditions to decrease freshwater usage and increase recycled and reused water usage.
Vehicle mileage reporting
Starting January 1, 2024, operators must report the daily vehicle miles traveled for trucks hauling water to, within, or from their operations.
Oil and gas location reporting
From January 1, 2024, operators need to report quarterly on water usage at each oil and gas location, including sources of fresh water, recycled or reused water, and produced water disposal methods and locations.
Creation of the Colorado Produced Water Consortium (CPWC)
This consortium is tasked with making recommendations on the recycling and reuse of produced water and developing best practices. Learn more about the Consortium here.
If you'd like to read HB23-1242 yourself, you can access it here.
Adapting to change
The new mandates of HB23-1242 may present both a challenge and an opportunity for many operators in Colorado. To meet the new requirements, a strategic rethink of operational practices may be required. This might involve:
- Investing in Advanced Water Management Systems: To efficiently manage water usage, especially in recycling and reusing water.
- Enhancing Reporting Mechanisms: Adapting to more frequent and detailed reporting needs a robust data capture and management system.
- Operational Procedure Overhaul: Operators might need to revise their current practices to align with the new regulations.
- Increased Focus on Collaboration: Collaboration with service providers, midstream, and even other operators is an effective way to ensure compliance while also boosting productivity.
This period of transition is a unique opportunity for operators to take the lead in sustainable practices and set new industry benchmarks.
So, what needs to be reported?
Operators will need to report on the following:
Monthly reporting for each oil and gas well should include:
- Volume of all fresh water used downhole.
- Volume of all recycled and reused produced water used downhole.
- Volume of all produced water from the well.
- Volume of produced water removed from the location for disposal, including disposal method and location.
- Volume of produced water recycled or reused in another well at the same location or removed for recycling or reuse else where, including for use by another operator.
General oil and gas location reporting
Quarterly reporting for each oil and gas location must include:
- Volume and source (industrial, commercial, municipal,agricultural) of fresh water used.
- Volume and source of all recycled or reused water used.
- Volume of all produced water disposed of from the location, including disposal method and location.
- Volume of all produced water removed from the location for recycling or reuse, including by another oil and gas operator.
- Total volume of all water produced from all wells at the location in each month of the reporting period.
Vehicle mileage reporting
Operators must also report vehicle miles traveled in relation to fresh water and produced water management, including for the recycling and reuse of produced water.
How software can help
Across every dimension of the oil and gas industry, software is playing an increasingly pivotal role. Here are a few ways utilizing tech can help:
Improving Data Capture and Reporting
Software solutions can automate the collection and submission of data required for reporting, reducing manual effort and the possibility of errors.
Increasing Use of Recycled and Reused Water
Moving, treating, using, and disposing of produced water isn’t a solo mission. Leveraging the latest collaborative water management platforms like WaterCNX can help improve your ability to do more with less.
Data Analysis and Optimization
Advanced software can help in analyzing water usage data, identifying areas for efficiency improvement.
Integration with Existing Systems
Technologies that seamlessly integrate with current operational systems can facilitate a smoother transition.
Adoption of new software offers solutions that can streamline these processes. While its role is supportive, the impact on ensuring compliance and maintaining operational efficiency is significant. Let’s take a look at two key components of the Bill and how a platform like IronSight can support your business in achieving compliance while also improving costs and productivity.
Software for water use data capture and reporting
To easily and accurately report monthly on the daily vehicle miles traveled, water type, pick-up and drop off locations, and water use, you’ll first need a way to capture that data efficiently.
With IronSight every fluid transfer job contains these exact details, capturing and verifying data like:
- Distances traveled
- Routes taken
- Water type details, and volumes
- Pick-up and drop-off locations
- Billing and cost center data
- Custom fields configured to capture any additional data you need
For a quick overview of how IronSight works, check out this video.
Because everything is captured digitally, reporting is made fast and easy.
- Head over to your analytics dashboard
- Select your report
- Export as a PDF or .CSV
- Send it where it needs to go
For an even more seamless workflow, consider integration with your current analytics and reporting systems.
Using software to support increased use of recycled and reused water
Among the new requirements of the bill is a mandate for the Colorado Energy and Carbon Management Commission (ECMC), formerly the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGIS) to adopt rules requiring “a statewide reduction in freshwater usage, and a corresponding increase in usage of recycled or reused produced water, at oil and gas locations”.
Put simply, oil and gas operators will need to decrease the use of freshwater and increase the use of produced water in their operations.
IronSight can help with this in two main ways:
Improving Logistical Efficiency and Coordination
IronSight isn’t just a great way to capture field data and streamline reporting, in fact operators that use IronSight primarily adopt the platform because of its ability to increase operational visibility and improve logistical efficiency.
With a complete, near-real time view of every unit in the field your team will be able to increase the efficiency of field coordination. Increasing backhauls, reducing wait times on site, and optimizing routes are just some of the ways IronSight can help your team do more with less. For a look at how IronSight is used for fluid hauling, check out our article Fluid Hauling with IronSight or watch the video below.
This fit-for-purpose solution powered by IronSight is designed to help you quickly identify opportunities to maximize water utilization through collaboration. Currently utilized in the Permian Basin, WaterCNX is ready to be deployed to any basin across Colorado and beyond.
The enactment of Colorado HB23-1242 is aligned with the industries broader push towards increased use of produced water to support the development of energy. It's a call for innovation and adaptation, where embracing change and leveraging technology becomes essential. By adopting these new practices and technologies, operators can not only reduce the administrative effort of complying with the new regulations but also lead the way in sustainable industry practices, contributing positively to both environmental conservation efforts while becoming increasingly efficient in the production of the clean, affordable energy that powers the nation.