Water in Energy conference plans announced

Changes are in store for the Permian Basin Water in Energy Conference coming Feb. 22-23, 2022.

During a news conference Monday at the Petroleum Club in Midland, officials said the event is being brought under the umbrella of the University of Texas Permian Basin and the conference will be cut from three days to two.

Jim Woodcock, PBWIEC chair, CEO of Midland Portfolio Partners and JJW Oil & Gas, said we are in the middle of a desert with an “acquirer that’s being pulled on really hard.”

“If my grandchildren decide to come back here I’d like them to be able to brush their teeth in Midland, Texas, or Odessa, Texas, and they’re not going to be able to unless we do something with this water,” Woodcock said.

He said he was at a meeting with Midland Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bobby Burns and with five of the leading oil and gas producers in this area. Their objective was to drill 25,000 wells in the next five years. The smaller wells would use about a million barrels of water and the larger ones would use 7 million barrels of water for drilling “and they use it one time and then it goes into saltwater disposal wells.”

Ultimately, the conference was born.

At its new home at University of Texas Permian Basin under the Shepperd Public Leadership Institute, Woodcock said the understanding is that the volunteers will be providing the direction for the program. He said these are people in the oil and gas industry.

The challenges facing the conference were to find sponsors, finding interesting speakers and cutting the program from three days to two.

Woodcock said sponsors are signed up, but more are needed.

President Sandra Woodley said UTPB is honored to be part of this event, which will take place at the Midland Horseshoe Arena. She noted that the university has a research institute for water and energy at the Engineering Building off State Highway 191.

Woodley said there are faculty with expertise, along with the business side and College of Business Dean Steve Beach, who was in attendance.

“Since we are going to be stepping up to be the administrative support and the operator of the event, we have put that in the John Ben Shepperd Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute is something that we’re very proud of. We have new leadership here in the institute,” Woodley said.

“… We’re excited about where we’re going with the conference and the university is very happy to … make it even a more resounding success than it already has been,” she added.

Blair Flanagan, director of special programs at the JBS institute, said the website for the water and energy conference has been redesigned.

“It has the capability for both attendees and sponsors to go online and register in that regard. It’s very user friendly,” Flanagan said.