Water Treating for Hydraulic Fracturing

Projects, Facilities and Construction


This course provides both an overview of water management and an in-depth look at critical issues related to sourcing (acquiring), reusing, recycling, and disposing of water in hydraulic fracturing operations. The course starts with a background of hydraulic fracturing operations and the different plays around North America. Options being used for transport, storage, reuse, and disposal are described for each of the different regions. The water management practices being used in the different regions are described and explained in terms of regional climate, type of shale and hence type of fracturing fluids being used, and the regional regulatory framework.

Fluid characteristics are then described. The unique features of hydraulic fracturing fluids are given and compared to those of conventional oil and gas and fluids from other industries such as starch manufacture, pulp and paper, and food and beverage.  Throughout the course, field experiences, practical issues, and field performance of equipment is presented.

Topics Include:

  • Bacterial and scaling control
  • Pre-treatment and desalination
  • Why certain technologies work well and others do not
  • Which technologies are suitable for which kind of fluid
  • Costs to use various technologies at well sites, well pads and clusters, and in centralized facilities
  • Lessons learned and best practices are presented for essentially all phases of the water management life cycle
  • Costs to use various technologies at well sites, well pads and clusters, and in centralized facilities

Learning Level


Course Length

1 or 2 Days

Why Attend?

Water treating is becoming increasingly important for maintaining the license to operate, as a component of DBOO project delivery, and for developing IOR/EOR projects.

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for process, facilities, and chemical engineers involved in either design or troubleshooting water-treating systems. Both on-shore and offshore facilities are presented.

Special Requirements

Attendees should have a basic understanding of upstream oil and gas facilities.


0.8 or 1.6 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1- or 2-day course.

Cancellation Policy

To receive a full refund, all cancellations must be received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Send cancellation requests by email to trainingcourses@spe.org; by fax to +1.866.460.3032 (US) or +1.972.852.9292 (outside US); or mail to SPE Registration, PO Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083.


John M. Walsh is a consultant, currently working for CEDTCO Energy Services. He recently retired from Shell where he was the global subject matter expert in the area of upstream water treating. He has more than 30 years’ experience overall, and 20 years’ experience specifically in the E&P industry dealing with water treatment. He worked in technical centers for half of his career and in operating assets for the other half. He has designed water-treating systems, and provided troubleshooting support to assets all over the world. He has experience in nearly all areas of water treating for the oil and gas industry including conventional produced water treating systems, and water treating for water flood, polymer flood, steam flood, sour hydrocarbons, and unconventional hydrocarbons.   

Having earned a PhD in chemical engineering, together with extensive experience in operating units, he brings a unique combination of fundamental knowledge with first hand practical experience. He has presented more than 40 papers on the subject of produced water treating at various conferences and workshops. He recently served on the Board of Directors of SPE as the technical director for the Projects, Facilities, and Construction discipline. He currently serves on the organizing committee for Water Handling Global Integrate Workshop Series.