Water Use & Recycling

Most of our water consumption is associated with our well completion operations. We calculate our water intensity rate by using the barrels of water consumed in our completion operations per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) produced. As a result of our conservation efforts, we have reduced our water intensity nearly 50% over the last four years. Still, we endeavor to limit the fresh water use in our operations by focusing on recycling of wastewater for use in subsequent operations.

When practical, CLR builds water recycling facilities to handle produced water and supply recycled water for completions operations.  Our process has become the benchmark for water recycling in Oklahoma and has since been adopted by multiple peer companies and service providers.  In 2017, Continental was the recipient of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board’s Water for 2060 Excellence Award for our achievements in water conservation and wastewater reuse, and helping Oklahoma meet its Water for 2060 goal of ensuring reliable supplies of fresh water for future economic growth and prosperity.

Water Intensity graph

Continental also has been working to change the method of transfer of our produced water from truck to pipeline where possible. In Oklahoma, our piped volume increased from 15% of our total production to as much as 65% of our total production since 2015, meaning there are approximately 422,000 fewer water trucks on the road. In 2019, Continental gathered more than 29.5 million barrels of produced water through pipelines, officially transitioning from using trucks to pipelines as our primary source of transport for produced water.

In our Northern operations across the Bakken, Continental also has invested in an extensive network of freshwater delivery and produced water-gathering systems. In the past 10 years, Continental has constructed more than 235 miles of pipe with a throughput capacity of over 130,000 barrels of water per day. These multimillion-dollar investments reduced truck traffic, improved safety, and streamlined produced-water transportation.