Water Resource Evaluation

The lack of adequate water resources can be a limiting factor in the successful completion of horizontal wells. Evaluating the quality, quantity, and reliability of water sources is an important aspect of the resource development process. As the shale oil play moved from Pennsylvania into Eastern Ohio, the need for water has grown. However, ample supplies of fresh water in Eastern Ohio are fairly limited.

Cox-Colvin completed a surface water resource evaluation for an energy company completing exploratory wells in Eastern Ohio. Cox-Colvin reviewed three potential water sources including a privately owned man-made impoundment, a flowing stream, and a series of impoundments within a former strip mining area. We completed an evaluation of the regulatory status of each water body, evaluated the quantity of available water through detailed mapping, soundings, stream gage measurements, and the development of rating curves. In addition, we evaluated the ecological status of the water bodies and their surrounding areas as well as the potential affect that the proposed withdrawal of water may have on local groundwater users. In the end, Cox-Colvin was able to demonstrate the water resources within the vicinity of their prospect were reliable and of sufficient quantity of meet their needs.

Outcome and Benefits

  • Detailed review of the regulatory and ecological status of the water bodies and their surroundings allowed our client to make informed decisions early in the process.
  • Detailed mapping and soundings established the quantity of available water.
  • Evaluating multiple sources of water reduced the uncertainty and improved the likelihood of success.