The usage of water resources has been one of the main focuses for optimization, and indicators such as the Water Footprint and Water Neutrality have become relevant throughout the recent years. The oil and gas industry is no stranger to these changes, and conversely, has done significant efforts to optimize the use of this resources.
Groundwater supply is a fundamental part in the intramountainous regions of Colombia, playing a crucial role in sectors such as agriculture. Specifically, in the sedimentary basin of the Middle Magdalena Valley a thick column of terrestrial sediments bear water not only fresh, but also brackish and saline. From base to top is composed of Paleogene units, that have been intensively characterized since many of these are part of the petroleum system of the basin. However, Neogene and Quaternary units are also present but have not been studied in detail as relevant information have not been acquired.
This study focuses on finding undrinkable water in the Neogene aquifers to reduce the blue water footprint in developing unconventional hydrocarbon resources. The procedure included a rigorous geological analysis, dynamic testing of study wells. For example, logs analysis, sample acquisition, hydraulic parameters, and hydrochemical/isotopic characterization, among other characteristics.
Innovation has also been incorporated during the development of these studies. New tools and procedures have been implemented for the first time to characterize these groundwater bodies, including spectroscopy logs, flow induction tests using nitrogen, and formation integrity tools for cap rock characterization among the most important.
In recent decades, greater awareness has been generated of the use of natural resources required in industrial processes. Water has been one of the main focuses of optimization, and indicators such as the Water Footprint and Water Neutrality have been relevant. The hydrocarbon industry is no stranger to these changes, and on the contrary, it is an industry that makes significant efforts to optimize the use of its resources.
The Water Footprint and Water Neutrality indicators applied to the hydrocarbon industry seek to reduce to the minimum possible, the requirement of freshwater in the exploration and development of its reserves and resources. Likewise, essential tools are implemented in parallel such as protecting and preserving surface and underground freshwater sources.