Permian oil and gas companies look to mitigate water waste from fracking

Southeast New Mexico’s oil boom was credited by many to increased use of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – and horizontal drilling allowing producers more breadth to go deep underground to access previously unreachable shale.

Fracking requires large quantities of water, sand and other chemicals to be shot down beneath the surface to break up the shale contained in underground rock formations.

But much of the Permian Basin, what many are calling the world’s most active oil and gas play in southeast New Mexico and West Texas, covers desert areas struggling with water scarcity and stressed further by the proliferation of fracking.