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Permian Needs $9 Billion Worth of New Wells—But Not for Crude

Frack fluid is stored in a pond in Texas.

Frack fluid is stored in a pond in Texas.

Photographer: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg

As much as $9 billion will be needed over the next decade just to throw away dirty water in the world’s busiest shale field, according to Raymond James & Associates Inc.

The scale of the challenge is mind-boggling: drillers typically pump 30 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water into an oil well to fracture the surrounding rocks. In return, as much as 10 barrels come rushing back out for every one barrel of crude, Raymond James analyst Marshall Adkins said in a note to clients on Monday.