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In 2022, almost half of ExxonMobil’s net US oil and natural gas production came from the Permian Basin. As it works to responsibly develop its assets in the region, ExxonMobil is working to safeguard the availability and quality of its water sources.

To minimize withdrawal from natural water resources and mitigate risks from water use in its operations, it seeks to:

  • Prioritize sourcing from recycled produced water to conserve resources of fresh and brackish water.
  • Minimize 'downhole' water disposal – that is, water discharged into underground formations – through technology and operational optimization.
  • Maximize opportunities to reuse produced water, leveraging its capabilities in risk management, research, and technology.
  • Support local and regional water conservation efforts, such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative.

Implemented in 2021, its comprehensive water management roadmap for 10 years of Permian development identifies opportunities to reduce freshwater intake, as well as manage disposal, and guides its efforts to achieve industry-leading performance in water management. It expects this roadmap will be updated as needed. In 2022, it sourced more than 130 million barrels of water from recycled Permian produced water, comprising over half (64%) of its water needs for hydraulic fracturing operations. The remaining water needed came from brackish sources.

Additionally, the company is increasingly using recycled produced water in its operations, including the Fayetteville and Marcellus shale gas operations. All told, it is working with industry members, technology solution providers, researchers, and regulators through collaboration, technology, and operational optimization to help improve industry water management in the Permian and beyond.

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