Project Description

Project Summary

The goal of the project is to develop a modeling and optimization application, PARETO, that can help organizations better manage, better treat, and – where possible – beneficially reuse produced water from oil and gas operations. Specifically, PARETO will help decision-makers with:

  • buildout of produced water infrastructure
  • management of produced water volumes
  • selection of effective treatment technologies
  • placement & sizing of treatment facilities
  • identification of beneficial water reuse options
  • distribution of treated produced water for reuse

The initiative is committed to viewing produced water management from a “systems” perspective and to building an inclusive framework that will unite stakeholders from across the produced water community. The vision is that PARETO will not only help oil & gas but also allow other industries (e.g., agriculture, mining) explore beneficial reuse opportunities for treated produced water. Figure 1 (below) illustrates the scope of “Project PARETO”.

Produced Water Optimization Initiative

Figure 1: Illustration of the targeted scope of “Project PARETO”

Inputs & Outputs

PARETO is designed as an executable optimization-based decision-support application. In return for specifying select input data, users will be provided with specific, actionable recommendations as program outputs. The table below summarizes representative inputs and outputs.

Input Data
  • Produced water forecast
    • Quantity
    • Quality
  • Transportation resources
    • Water hauling trucks
    • Produced water pipelines
  • Reuse opportunities
    • Demand forecasts
    • Quality constraints
  • Cost assumptions
Program Outputs
  • Infrastructure buildout
    • Storage/treatment facilities
    • Pipeline network
  • Source-to-sink matches
    • Volumetric flows
    • Blending/treatment options
  • Planning and scheduling
    • Water delivery coordination
    • Operational and strategic
  • Economic performance
It should be noted that PARETO users will be able to choose from a range of objectives for their optimization runs; these can range from minimizing costs to maximing the ruese of produced water (or combinations thereof).

Figure 2: Examples of PARETO Inputs & Outputs


Project Timeline

Project PARETO is a 3-year initiative that has been split into three distinct phases; with each phase taking up exactly one year. In execution year 2021, PARETO will capture produced water management, i.e., capturing optins for coordination water deliveries in a given development area. By execution year 2022, the project will shift its attention towards produced water treatment. Finally, execution year 2023 will be dedicated to produced water beneficial reuse.


Figure 3: Illustration of the “Project PARETO” timeline

In terms of deliverables, PARETO itself will be released as free and open-source software every year of the initiative – with increasing capabilities and functionality becoming available over time. The project team is also committed to conducting case studies with industrial and other partners; and where possible findings from those collaborations will be shared with the produced water community as best practice reports.

It should also be noted that the project will continuously evaluated by a comprehensive stakeholder board that involves individuals representing upstream operators, midstream organizations, treatment technology providers, beneficial reuse entities, regulatory agencies and others – all of which will guide the project team and provide necessary input.


Join as