Reused Produced Water for Injection Cuts Fracking Costs

by | Aug 9, 2013

GWIGlobal Industrial Water (GIW) on Aug. 12 will begin a 14-day trial to find a treatment or series of treatments whereby produced water from oil and gas operations can be rendered fit for agricultural, municipal and industrial use, as well as reuse in hydraulic fracturing.

The company says this potential new water supply would alleviate the pressure on conventional water supplies, provide an environmentally friendly alternative to re-injection and be drought-proof.

The aim is to supply water treatment equipment to oil and gas producers to save money, reduce fresh water requirements for drilling and minimize contamination of water supplies.

The company says immediate savings to producers would be about $163,000 per frack per well. Here’s how GWI arrives at this expected savings figure:

The cost to truck water to each well per 100,000 barrels of water equals $487,000, the company says. Meanwhile, cost per well to treat and recycle 100,000 barrels of water is $324,000. Each operator performs around 40 to 60 fracs per well per month, so an oil producer could save as much as $10,000,000 per well per month by re-using the injection water, according to GWI.

In addition to the cost-saving benefits of treatment and re-use of water, the process would reduce 295 truckloads per well, which equates to a 36 percent reduction of trucks on the road, the company says.

The upcoming trial will treat produced water at a rate of 10gpm. Each of the water treatment components in this study has been proven effective, GWI says. The purpose of the study is to create varying sequences of equipment using three- or four-way valves.

The feed water will be directed through each component in documented permutations. The water quality will be analyzed after each run by means of sample ports and the findings of each permutation will be analyzed to identify and measure the constituents of the water after treatment.

The study will also examine:

  • Oil in water concentration and particle size with fluid imaging technology capable of microscopy, ultrasonic lens cleaning and laser induced UF fluorescence.
  • The efficacy of membrane technology.
  • Whether a produced water treatment train using green technology can be developed commercially to create a cost-efficient method of reclaiming produced water for stream-flow augmentation, irrigation, livestock watering, and municipal and industrial use.
  • How practical an appropriately sized treatment train would be in a real time application.
  • The viability of the re-sale of oil reclaimed from produced water.
  • The suitability of 000 rated chemicals as a means by which to flocculate heavy metals in order to reduce TDS and to remove H2S.
  • A new mechanically cleaned micro filter for the removal of biologicals and a low-pressure direct displacement ZeeWeed ultra filter will be introduced by the Texas A&M University together with new wireless air emission monitors.

ThermoEnergy and STW Resources in July completed a successful pilot test of ThermoEnergy’s TurboFrac produced water recycling system at a major oil producer’s site near Midland, Texas.

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