Selling stockpond water for fracking operations

I have been approached about selling water from my stockpond for use in fracking a well that is near my property. Does anyone have any experience with selling pond water and what a contract might include?

My number one concern is keeping enough water in my pond to keep my fish alive. This time of year a pond can go down fast. Supposedly if I would agree to selling my pond water, it would be replaced in a short time with fresh well water.

I would also like to know if anyone knows what a fair price might be for water taken from my pond.

Any help will be most appreciated.

A frac can use several million bbl of water. Oil company does not need to use your fresh water. It can use brackish water of over 1000 tds. You need to have an expert write your contract and cover every contingency. Do not sign a contract presented t o you without understanding the legal meaning of all the terms and conditions. Where is the replacement well water coming from? Will it be at least as fresh as your stockpond water? If from your land, who will monitor to be sure that pressure is not destroyed and the water table is not depleted? Water prices vary by county and local area and by quality of water. This water use will not be monitored by and state agency. It will be a contractual matter between you and the driller or operator. Will they take absolute liability and responsibility for your continued water supply? Water is a very hot topic in the legal world and there are multiple seminars. Newest topic is that produced water from oil wells is owned by surface owner. As it is becoming more common to clean up produced water for use in frac jobs, the question has arisen about compensation of surface owner, whether when used by the operator off-premises or sold.

Sell the water and buy more fish. Frac water sales is a lucrative business.

Your reply is most appreciated. Thanks.

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I had the opportunity to sell my tank (pond) water to XTO for hydraulic fracturing a horizontalwell that was situated 300+ feet from my fence line. I said "NO." And that was that!

In Texas, a neighboring well has to be within a "certain" number of feet from the adjoining property line. RRC can tell you how many. BUT, watch out for "exceptions" to the rule that the RRC can grant, but those exceptions require a lengthy hearing process.

Good luck,



You will have to make up your mind if you want the fish or the money. Frac takes a lot of water and unless you have a big/deep pond it won't do it. What state are you in? I have sold water for .25 to .35 bbl in Oklahoma. The pond was 35 feet deep and about 2 1/2 A, it was almost dry when they finished. I move all the fish I could to a smaller pond. The pond did have a spring in it, so it came back within a week. I would not plan on filling it from a well. Be sure to get an oil & gas attorney to write the contract. DO Not use the oil companies contract.

Your advice is much appreciated. My pond is 16 feet deep and about 1 and 1/2 acres. I was told that a water well would be used to replenish the water taken within 4 or 5 days. In this heat, I don't believe fish could last 4 or 5 days after the water is drawn down to a depth of 4 feet.

Who told you that a water well would replenish the pond within 5 days? Is this a guarantee or an estimate? Is this from an existing water well on your land or from an off-site well or from a well to be drilled on your land. What is the current source of water in your pond? Will the pond be damaged if drained and who will make repairs? Do you have water well (s) on your land now that you use for house, cattle or irrigation? If pressure is ruined or the well(s) go dry, do you care? There are likely many more questions to ask and you need to consult a water expert.


You would really have to have a good water well to replenish the pond within 4 to 5 days, what about you water well pump, will it heat up and burn out? Fish will not live in 4 foot water if they are any size. I would say, a 16 foot deep pond will not frac a well. It may drill one and that is all. If you have cattle, I wouldn't sell any water. It's just starting Aug and who know what kind of weather we will have or if it doesn't rain.

I wasn't clear on the 4 or 5 days discussion. There are two other ponds that would also be contributing to the fracking operation that are adjacent to my property. Once water would be removed from mine, it would be 4 or 5 days before well water would start being pumped into my pond. I have pretty much talked myself out of considering using my pond for this operation. I am considering building another pond strictly for fracking use, if I can convince the oil company to do it.

All your questions are valid. Now that I've started this discussion I have received much valuable feedback. If the future needs of this oil company are valid, I can see myself building another pond on my property to be used strictly for a fracking reservoir. I can also see the possibility of drilling a deep water well on my property as well. That of course is a bit of a pipe dream at present but very feasible if there is a valid demand for fracking water in the next several years. At any rate, I have received enough feedback to convince myself to leave my fishing pond undisturbed. Thank you all for your input.

Don, what State/County your property is located in?

My property is in Lee County, Texas.