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Private Equity Rushes In to End Shale Drillers' Water Torture

  • Fracking in the Permian producing 16 million barrels a day
  • Deals seen continuing as producers try to rein in spending
Contractors operate a drilling pipe in Reeves County, Texas.
Contractors operate a drilling pipe in Reeves County, Texas.Photographer: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg

Drillers in America’s most prolific shale basins have a $34 billion headache that private equity wants to provide a cure for.

Over the past year, private equity-backed newcomers have stormed into the nation’s oilfields in a quest to build a vast new network of pipelines to help drillers handle the more than 16 million barrels of water a day produced by fracking in the Permian Basin alone.