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Keywords:

  • shale gas;
  • water management;
  • mixed-integer programming;
  • scheduling

There are four key aspects for water use in hydraulic fracturing, including source water acquisition, wastewater production, reuse and recycle, and subsequent transportation, storage, and disposal. Water use life cycle is optimized for wellpads through a discrete-time two-stage stochastic mixed-integer linear programming model under uncertain availability of water. The objective is to minimize expected transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal cost while accounting for the revenue from gas production. Assuming freshwater sources, river withdrawal data, location of wellpads, and treatment facilities are given, the goal is to determine an optimal fracturing schedule in coordination with water transportation, and its treatment and reuse. The proposed models consider a long-time horizon and multiple scenarios from historical data. Two examples representative of the Marcellus Shale play are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the formulation, and to identify optimization opportunities that can improve both the environmental impact and economical use of water. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 3490–3501, 2014