Corporate Responsibility

Our approach is to analyze every project individually to determine its economic, safety and environmental impacts over the life of the project

Water Resource Management

Water management is an important issue in the oil and gas industry. Large quantities of water must be sourced for hydraulic fracturing operations, some of which are in water-stressed areas. The volume of water needed per well has increased over the last few years due to an increase in well lateral lengths and changes in completion designs. In addition, large quantities of produced water must be disposed of safely.

Cimarex has established a water resource management team to source water for our hydraulic fracturing operations and to dispose of our produced water. The team is focused on developing water sourcing solutions for our respective operating areas taking into account local water supply and demand and forecasted produced water production rates associated with field development. All water produced from our oil and gas wells is either injected into saltwater disposal (SWD) wells or flows through a temporary on-demand pipeline system for re-use in our completion operations.

Water used in hydraulic fracturing operations is purchased within the local area or is supplied by produced water from other Cimarex wells that is recycled through a temporary on-demand pipeline system.

In the Mid-Continent region, water is sourced from local rivers, primarily the Canadian River, where supply is plentiful. Despite the abundant supply, we continually assess the community needs versus industry demand. If community constraints are forecasted, we are prepared to move to alternative water sources. The Mid-Continent region produces significantly lower volumes of water than the Permian region because Mid-Continent wells produce little or no formation water. The bulk of produced water from these wells come from completion operations. As a result, the water production from our Mid-Continent wells is short-lived and is piped or trucked to SWD systems, most of which we operate. Any third-party operators are vetted to ensure they are operating safely and responsibly.

In the Permian region, we are able to source water from local aquifers and reuse our produced water. We are continuing to expand our operated SWD infrastructure to facilitate the use of larger volumes of recycled water in our completion operations. To avoid spills resulting from leaks in surface containment pits, Cimarex currently does not store produced water in surface containment pits for later use in completion operations. Produced water not recycled is injected primarily into SWD wells we own and operate. We carefully consider the site and underground formation for our SWD well locations, particularly weighing factors such as forecasted produced water rates for full-field development and seismicity potential. We also review the operations and safety programs of third-party operators of SWD wells to ensure they are operating at a high standard.

Water Sourced for Operations
(millions of barrels)
2015 2016
Mid-Continent Region
Recycled water 0 0
Procured water 12.2 12.8
Permian Region
Recycled water 0.7 3.7
Procured water 14.7 17.9
Total
Recycled water 0.7 3.7
Procured water 30.8 33.9
Water Intensity Rate*
(gal/Mmbtu)
2015 2016
Mid-Continent Region 1.52 2.29
Permian Region 2.10 1.30
Total 1.87 1.71

*Intensity rate is defined as total water sourced divided by total estimated energy recovered. Total estimated energy recovered is the estimated reserves of wells completed during that respective year multiplied by a BTU factor.