Hydraulic fracturing is a process in which pressurized fluid is pumped into underground formations to create tiny fractures or spaces that allow crude oil and natural gas molecules to flow from the reservoir into the well casing and surface gathering pipelines. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracing, is an essential part of our business and is utilized in all of our newly drilled and completed wells.
The mixture utilized in fracing is typically more than 99% water and sand. Less than 1% is composed of chemical additives that are highly diluted and commonly found in various household products, such as laundry detergents, cleaners and beauty products. This technique has been safely and effectively used by the oil and gas industry for approximately 70 years.
Source: Company estimates
Centennial strives to be as transparent as possible; therefore, we publicly report our chemical usage on each of our hydraulic fracturing jobs. We are an active participant in FracFocus, the national hydraulic fracturing chemical registry. FracFocus is managed by the Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, two organizations whose missions center around conservation and environmental protection. The FracFocus.org website makes it possible for anyone to see what chemicals were used at a given well. We will continue to publicly disclose our use of chemicals to FracFocus.
Source: Company data
We take great care in protecting groundwater resources where we operate. While hydraulic fracturing occurs thousands of feet below freshwater aquifers, wellbore integrity is critical to ensure groundwater protection. During drilling, Centennial utilizes multiple layers of steel casing and cement in order to provide a safe barrier to protect aquifers. We also continuously monitor a well’s pressure during drilling and completion operations to ensure the highest wellbore integrity. This monitoring continues throughout the entire drilling, completion and production processes.
Hydraulic fracturing requires a significant volume of water. In 2018, Centennial management formed a project team to develop comprehensive water sourcing, disposal and recycling solutions for its operations. In 2019, we began implementing the team’s water recycling solutions into our operations, with an initial focus on our operations in New Mexico. For the first half of 2019, approximately 300,000 barrels of flowback and produced water were recycled and reused in our operations in New Mexico. For the remainder of 2019, we plan to increase our use of recycled water for our operations in New Mexico and also explore implementing water recycling solutions for our Texas operations. Water recycling reduces both freshwater consumption and produced water disposal volumes, and we plan to continue to expand our use of recycled water with a goal of using recycled water in our operations whenever practical.