Based on volumes of production, the industry that calls itself “the oil and gas business” should properly be called the “saltwater business.” In some conventional and most shale plays, there are six or eight barrels (bbl) of water brought to the surface for every barrel equivalent of hydrocarbons.

What to do with it?

The volumes of oil and gas being produced in North America are rapidly rearranging global energy economics and even geopolitics. But at the same time a crisis may be coming to a head as producers wonder how and where to get lakes of water needed to frack wells—and even more to the point—what they are going to do with the oceans of saltwater produced?