Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Olusegun S. Tomomewo


It is true that the advancements in both the hydraulic frack and directional drilling technologies led to less time and a bit easier ways to develop unconventional oil and gas assets worldwide. In the Bakken North Dakota, the result of these breakthroughs and advancements in technologies are that they drastically reduce the time it takes to drill and complete a well leading to more wells (347 in 2004 to 16,300 in 2020). In 2019, the United States became the largest global crude oil producer, and the unconventional Bakken Play in North Dakota is one of the major contributors to this feat. As more wells are being drilled, more waste water are being produced. Analysis also showed early increases in water cuts even in younger (less than 3 years) wells drilled around McKenzie and Williams Counties. The concern here is that the wastewater produced by these increased oilfield activities is highly saline (~170,000 to 350,000 ppm TDS), and the most commonly used water disposal method in the Bakken Formation is deep injection into disposal wells. Notwithstanding, there are growing environmental and operational concerns about the sustainability and impacts of this approach. However, if the wastewater is efficiently treated, it could be reused in hydraulic fracturing operations or to support coal mining and irrigation activities. This research uses various method to investigate the root cause of the high volume of wastewater production in the Bakken, North Dakota and how these flow back and produced water could be treated using various novel technologies like, the advanced and improved desalination, advanced electro-oxidation and dilution methods. Lastly, the research was able to provide robust and detailed results on how the Bakken treated produced water could be transformed to good use especially as base fluids for hydraulic frack fluid formulation.