Sourced Water - Globally

We measure and report on the volume of freshwater and non-fresh water withdrawn from local water sources and the volume of produced water that is reused, recycled, disposed or discharged after treatment. This data is used to estimate our water intensity and exposure to water stress. We also collect water forecast data for our annual Long-Range Plan process which enables us to test our portfolio of projects against our water risks to make better-informed strategic decisions.

About 90% of the water we use as source water for our operations is non-fresh groundwater, seawater and reused/recycled produced water.  

In 2019, our operated assets withdrew 14.4 million cubic meters of freshwater1, a decrease of 21%. This was primarily due to reduced freshwater use for hydraulic fracturing in our Eagle Ford and Bakken operations, partially offset by increased fresh water needs as our Montney operations ramped up. 

Water charts

Our 2019 non-freshwater2 withdrawal volume was 51.3 million cubic meters, an increase of 4%. This increase was mostly due to increased non-freshwater use for hydraulic fracturing in our Eagle Ford operations and for Alaska operations, partly offset by reductions in seawater use in Norway.

Produced Water Managed - Global Of the produced3 water recovered in 2019, 70% was reused or recycled, 18% was disposed and 12% was treated and discharged offshore.

We recycled or reused 82.3 million cubic meters of produced water in 2019, an increase of 4%. This increase was mostly due to increased produced water reuse for EOR and recycling for hydraulic fracturing in our Permian assets, partly offset by a reduction at Surmont due to a turnaround.  


Regional Water Metrics

Onshore Source Water graphs


  Eagle Ford Bakken Delaware Niobrara4 Montney
Freshwater Withdrawn 5.5 1.6 0 0.8 1.2
Freshwater Discharged 0 0 0 0 0
Non-fresh Water Withdrawn 5.9 0 0.5 0 0
Produced Water Reused/Recycled 0 0 1.4 0 0
Produced Water Disposed 4.7 3.7 3.2 0.09 0.04

Conventional/LNG/Oil Sands*

  Alaska LNG Permian Surmont Indonesia
Freshwater Withdrawn 0.5 0.45 0 2.4 0.35
Freshwater Discharged 0.2 0.09 0 0.05 0.09
Non-fresh Water Withdrawn 14.1 0 0 1.2 0
Produced Water Reused/Recycled 38.5 0 20.8 21.5 0
Produced Water Disposed 0 0 3.8 1.8 0.57

* All data in units of million cubic meters. 

Offshore Source Water graphs

Our offshore operations used 29.4 million cubic meters of seawater, disposed 1.9 million cubic meters of produced water and discharged 15 million cubic meters of treated produced water. About 1.7 million cubic meters of freshwater were used for domestic purposes at offshore staff accommodations and at the Teesside terminal for processing.

Freshwater Consumption Intensity

We measure and track the freshwater consumption intensity for our unconventional, conventional and offshore assets. The 2019 freshwater consumption intensity5 for our unconventional assets in the U.S. (Eagle Ford, Delaware and Bakken) and in Canada (Montney) is 0.22 bbl/BOE EUR. This is a 20% reduction compared to 2018 due to ramping up of produced water recycling in Delaware and the increased use of non-fresh groundwater sources in the Eagle Ford.   The 2019 freshwater consumption intensity6 for our conventional (Alaska, Canada Surmont, U.S. Permian, LNG and Indonesia) and offshore assets (Norway) is 0.05 bbl/BOE. The conventional/offshore water intensity remains relatively unchanged.  

Freshwater Withdrawn in Regions with High Baseline Water Stress

We use the World Resources Institute Aqueduct Risk Atlas (Aqueduct tool) to assess our portfolio exposure to water stress. The Aqueduct tool, also used by the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB), measures the ratio of total water withdrawals to available renewable surface and groundwater supplies. Our Anadarko, Lost Cabin Gas Plant, Niobrara, Permian Basin Central Platform and Alaska Kuparuk assets are located in basins with high or extremely high baseline water stress and accounted for 8.4% of our total freshwater withdrawal in 2019. 


1 Regulatory definitions of freshwater can range from less than 1,000 to less than 4,000 milligrams per liter total dissolved solids (TDS).

2 Non-freshwater includes brackish/saline groundwater with ranges between 2,000 to more than 10,000 milligrams per liter TDS and seawater with about 35,000 milligrams per liter TDS.

3 Produced water ranges from less than 10,000 to more than 300,000 milligrams per liter TDS. 

The sale of Niobrara assets was completed in 2020.

5 Calculated using RS Energy Group data for the average volume of freshwater (bbl) divided by the average estimated ultimate recovery (EUR, BOE) as of March 31, 2020. Intensity value may change as EUR data is updated.

6 Calculated using the average volume of freshwater (bbl) divided by the average annual production (BOE).