Selling water for fracking

Typical selling price for frack water has been around 50 cents per barrel...42 gallon barrel.

But, as more people get into the business of selling water to the oil and gas companies for

drilling and fracking, the price is coming down.

The newest wrinkle is for the big Operators (Amoco, Primexx, Noble, COG, Oxy, etc) to drill

their own water wells on land they buy outright and build their own frack water reservoirs.

Then they can have companies with collapsible pipelines pump the water to location to

be used and only pay the water transportation company to get it there.

That's what happened to me. Primexx and I agreed in November to drill a water well on

my place and build a frack water reservoir for their operations around me.....then they

backed out and bought land outright, drilled their own water wells, and made their own

frack I got left out.

Near Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx


Pretty sure I know exactly where you're talking about where Primexx did this. Yes, you are right, this is becoming a very common practice for operators to do in order to cut costs. The only clout a landowner can really have at that point is if the operator has to pass through their land or not to get that water to their wells or frac ponds. Right-of-Way appears to be one of the few bargaining chips left in the water transfer business in Reeves. Basically, landowners can say "Not using my water? Then find another route."

My concern is it takes lots and lots of water to do a frac. The risk is if the oil companies are taking water from a large water source below the surface and they are DRAINING your water, maybe they are using it all up leaving you no water source at all.

Is there a good online resource for hydrology maps of the subsurface water aquifers in Reeves? I guess to know how real the threat is for an operator to move across the fence and drill, it would depend on how badly you might get drained if you don't participate.

I think offsetting the price pressure is the record rig counts we are seeing. Operators are also making a pretty serious effort to diversify their water sources into brackish and recycled water, though, which may end up being the real competition.

From north of Pecos to south of Balmorhea and west to the junction of IH10 and IH20, there are three major

aquifers. The underground stratigraphy dictates how deep each aquifer is on any given piece of land.

On mine, the top aquifer, the one Balmorhea and most of the farms north of there draw on is called the

Barilla....and on my place is 420 to 560 feet deep. That's the drinking water aquifer that Madera Valley Water

Supply taps. Next deeper aquifer is called the Rustler and it runs 600 to 800 feet deep under my land.

Its water is a little gyppie and sometimes has enough sulphur to smell, but, it's good water for irrigation.

The final aquifer under my place is around 1700 to 1900 feet deep....good drinking water and a lot of it for

irrigation....called the Clearfork. But, at over $100/foot to drill a water well.....way too rich for my blood!

Lots of would be land developers get put off by the $56K cost of drilling a drinking water well in the


Puts a big crimp in my plans to raise vegetables in greenhouses, fruit trees in mini orchards, and grapes

on arbors attached to the greenhouses. You should SEE my beautiful grapes!

Yeah, me....a retired oilfield hand became a sod bustin' dirt farmer!!

near Verhalen

I am uncertain if this interactive map's layers could be of assistance.

I was going to ask you about the very same thing and found this answer to my question. I have a company that wants to put a Pad on my land. I have ask in the agreement to have a water well drilled and left on the land when they leave. I got the pre-agreement today and it says nothing about a well. It also has in the pre-agreement that the money is for sell, lease etc etc in the agreement. Does that mean that they are actually buying the land for the Pad? I really need help on this thing.... oil and gas patch is enough to give me a heart attack. Been bitten by a snake oil company that I am to the point of not trusting any of them. Thank you for all you post on the forum as it is so helpful.

Louise......tell them No Way, Jose' can they put a pad on your land until they PUT IT IN WRITING that

it is a LEASE, not sale of the surface property or underlying minerals. They are only LEASING your

surface property for a pad for a business yard. You can have your lawyer demand (IF they have a

revenue stream from the facility they put on your property) an overriding royalty monthly from them

based on a percentage of GROSS REVENUES of that facility. Never go NET Revenue because they have

all kinds of ways to spend all the income up and leave you with net nothing.

near Verhalen

By the way, Primexx backed out on the water well/ frack water reservoir....drilled their own wells on property they bought and built their own frack reservoirs....BUT they are building a 16 inch gas gathering line to cover all their producing wells west of highway 17....and driving a pipeline to the east to Hwy 285 and the new gas plant being built there. Guess where they decided to cross under Hwy 17? That's right....on MY property. So now I get the last laugh in this horse trade.

They have to go DOWN about 12 to 14 feet and dig a tunnel under Hwy 17 and the railroad spur

on the west side of the highway right of way. They have to put 24 inch conductor pipe in the tunnel and run the 16 inch gas line through it. They right angle on my property to go to County

Road 330 dogleg to the north then straight east to Highway 285. 16 miles of 16 inch gas line

pipe stored on my property. In the future, they will want to put in a recompressor station there

and I'll charge them a long term lease to operate it there on my property.

near Verhalen.

Wow, would you have a photo of where highway 17 is and where all this connects to highway 285? Sure would be nice to see if that is somewhere near my land. Just a thought. I am happy for you that you are getting the last laugh.

Mine is coming as I have been in a struggle with my situation. We will see who can laugh the loudest.

Good luck,

There a plans afoot to reclaim frack water and produced water currently going to saltwater disposals now to be used for further fracking and recycled again into fresh water suitable for irrigation and even drinking. The problem is that MORE acreage is going to end up with big earthen tanks lined with plastic to store the recycled water This could be a windfall for surface land owners, but then the surrounding lands will need to be put back into cultivation of food crops for both animals and people. The oil and gas explroation/production companies will have to work hand in glove with the surface owners, farmers, and ranchers for these massive water surface reservoirs and the farming projects derived.