Responsible Water Management
We are committed to high standards of water stewardship and conservation, efficiently recycling, reusing and disposing of water in a manner sensitive to local environmental, economic and regulatory concerns. We recognize and respect the importance of water to our communities, and partner with stakeholders to protect water resources. Read more about our commitment to water stewardship here.
|Total fresh water |
|Total non-fresh water |
|Total water |
rate (bbl/gross boe)
In 2022, we used ~105 million barrels of water at a water efficiency rate of 0.23 bbl/gross boe. This rate is higher compared to previous years due to an increase in completions activity in the Haynesville, following our acquisition of Vine assets.
Water Management Process
Chesapeake manages water in accordance with state and federal requirements in our three basins of operation. Whenever possible, we use non-potable water sources for our drilling and completions needs, sourcing from private landowners, municipalities, regional water districts and river authorities.
Chesapeake determines the completions design and water amounts needed to meet production forecasts (specific to each individual site).
Based on demand, sources of fresh water vs. non-fresh water are assessed and permitted accordingly.
Water is metered and transported via pipeline or truck; water may move directly to operations or to a staging area prior to operational use.
Water volumes are entered into internal databases and reported to the local and state entities per individual requirements.
End of Life
Produced water is either disposed, recycled or reused based on market capabilities and conditions.
Evaluating Water Stress
We monitor drought level indications as published and updated quarterly by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and through the World Resources Institute (WRI)’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. In 2022, we did not source fresh water from any region classified as high or extremely high water-stress areas according to the WRI water risk assessment tool. Consistently, our Marcellus and Haynesville assets are not considered to be water-stressed areas.
We disclose the ingredients contained within completion fluids to state regulatory agencies and to the public on fracfocus.org. Since 2011, we have reported 100% of our well completions to FracFocus, a web-based registry that provides detail on completion process additives, chemicals and the amount of water used, as reported by oil and natural gas operators.
When reporting to FracFocus, Chesapeake utilizes information supplied to us by our vendors in the form of Safety Data Sheets. We encourage our additive suppliers to be as transparent as possible reporting both the actual additives used in their hydraulic systems fracturing operations and, separately, the individual chemistries contained in the additives.
Chesapeake was one of the first of our peers to have a dedicated water recycling program and we continue to evolve our broader water recycling efforts. In line with the American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC), we define water recycling as water produced in the field and reused by field (drilling and completions) operations.
Our Marcellus operations team is aiming to deliver on our commitment to recycle 100% of our produced water in Pennsylvania. Previously, we stored water or transferred it to another state for disposal. Today, we reuse our produced water for completions activities — helping to rove the need for disposal and reducing local freshwater usage.
We have also developed a produced water sharing program with other operators in the Marcellus basin. This allows us to accept produced water for use in our completions jobs from local E&P companies. This efficient reuse benefits the local operators as we provide them with alternatives to disposal — and significantly reducing water hauling truck traffic.
In 2022, Chesapeake recycled more than 5.6 million barrels of produced water, including 100% of our produced water in the Marcellus Shale.
(1) These breakout numbers reflect data from our three operating areas as of the report publication date. Certain divested assets, such as the Powder River Basin, are not included in these charts.
(2) In accordance with the USGS, fresh water is defined as water that has less than or equal to 1,000 mg/l total dissolved solids. We source fresh water from surface water and private groundwater partners in accordance with permitting and lease agreements. We utilize AXPC’s water consumption definition.