Water management has emerged as a critical issue for continued growth in unconventional production, especially in the Permian where frac water costs have ballooned from about 2% of completion costs to as much as 20%. Produced water disposal can be as much as half the operating cost of a well.

On Feb. 8, two companies that are growing their midstream water business announced expansions in their Permian operations. In an unplanned bit of balance, one was for water supply, the other for disposal.