Once water risks have been identified they need to be managed. Throughout the lifecycle of oil and gas activities water is used and produced. IPIECA recognises the importance of managing water effectively and maintaining business continuity as well as preserving the license to operate. IPIECA has developed a set of good practice guidance documents to promote responsible and effective water management throughout the lifecycle of oil and gas activities and continues to build on the set of good practices.
Water sourcing: The IPIECA Guide to identifying and assessing water sources presents a systematic process for the onshore industry to select water sources that best meet project needs within the broader context of local or regional water management. The guide is applicable to both new projects and existing operations and uses case studies to provide practical examples of the process stages outlined.
Water use and efficiencies: The IPIECA produced Efficiency in water use. Guidance document for the upstream onshore oil and gas industry which presents a systematic process for the onshore oil and gas industry to identify and assess potential measures to improve water efficiency via incorporating the principles of water stewardship, integrating water resource management and risk assessment throughout the life of an operation. This guidance is applicable to both new and existing operations and uses case studies to provide practical examples.
Produced water management: the industry handles large volumes of produced water that are separated at different stages during hydrocarbon extraction and processing. Produced water typically contains high quantities of salt, in addition to other minerals, metals and organic compounds (in both aqueous and non-aqueous phases). In many circumstances produced water can be reused and this can be seen as an opportunity for the industry. If this is not possible, it usually requires treatment to comply with environmental requirements prior to disposal or discharge to the environment.
Waste water management: oil and gas water treatment systems produce by-products that include large volumes of brine, salt, hydrocarbon and wastewater sludges and other concentrated contaminants in waste streams, both in liquid and solid waste forms. These need to be responsibly managed, handled and treated.