Fracking Profits Flow to Water Recyclers

oil well drilling

by | Nov 12, 2013

oil well drillingFasken Oil and Ranch in West Texas now uses 90 percent recycled water for hydraulic fracturing, putting the company 10 percent away from its goal of not using any freshwater for fracking, the Associated Press reports.

The company is among an increasing number of oil and gas operations reusing water in a boon to water companies that are helping drillers use less freshwater and dispose of less wastewater.

Water Rescue Services, the company that runs recycling services for Fasken Oil and Ranch, statically charges the water, allowing waste particles to separate and fall to the bottom, the Associated Press reports. Solids are then taken to a landfill and more than 95 percent of the water is clean enough to be reused for fracking.

Pure Stream offer two water technologies, according to the news agency. One cleans water so it can be reused in the oil patch and another makes it clean enough to be dumped into rivers and lakes or used in agriculture.

Recycling permits applications in Texas rose from less than two a year in 2011 to 30 approved in fiscal year 2012, according to the Associated Press. The spike in requests led the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees oil and gas operations, to change the rules in March, eliminating the need for drillers to get a permit if they recycle on their own lease or on a third-party’s property.

Commission spokeswoman Ramona Nye told the AP that the new regulations are intended to encourage recycling and help drillers conserve water.

Limited available water resources, drought and increasing water-use demands from all segments of the economy is driving water management issues to the forefront of US oil and gas operations’ considerations and accounts for $8 billion in spending for water services in US fracking regions, according to a report from IHS.

Since June, Omni Water Solutions has treated more than 140,000 barrels of Marathon Oil’s flowback and produced water in Texas’ Eagle Ford shale to reduce boron and enable re-use of the cleaned water for drilling and fracking, Omni said in September.

Also in September, Select Energy Services and Fountain Quail Water Management formed a joint venture to expand their oilfield and shale gas water treatment and recycling services.

A month earlier, Global Industrial Water began a 14-day trial to find a treatment or series of treatments whereby produced water from oil and gas operations can be reused in fracking, as well as for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses.

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