The drilling and completion of unconventional oil and gas wells requires more water than traditional wells, which makes water management critical. An emerging theme with unconventional resource development is the extent to which increased water needs for drilling and completion stress local water supplies. We will explore how drilling could potentially improve a community's access to water. In areas with limited water access, the benefits of necessary drilling infrastructure, like water wells, may extend beyond E&P operations to local communities and/or landowners.
This paper highlights improved standards of living for local communities through access to fresh water. The case studies reviewed include improved water access for agriculture in California, beneficial produced water use in Australia, and shared water access near a drill site in Central America with neighborly behavior. The unintended importance of providing water and acting as good neighbors was that villagers chose to not engage with local guerrillas in a conflict to undermine drilling operations, and rather convinced the guerrillas to avoid the conflict altogether. The topics covered by this case study and others reveal the relationship between social responsibility issues; aspects of Safety, Security, Environment, and Health (SSEH); fresh water access and major resource utilizations in heavy security areas or developing countries.
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