On a stage in the heart of the oil patch, Mike Wichterich groused candidly about the shortcomings of the Delaware Basin’s infrastructure and how a lack of pipe has turned acreage there into an oil trap.

Wichterich, president of Three Rivers Operating Co. III LLC, told attendees of Hart Energy’s November Executive Oil Conference that wells with production of 2,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) seem great—at first.

“And I think, ‘OK, I need to haul that oil off. And that is a lot of trucks. And, oh, by the way, I need to move 6,000 barrels of water,’” he said, adding that the inefficiencies add up with rapidly.

“It has to be piped. It can’t be trucked. That’s why we’re having all these problems.”