Waste Management Cashes in on Fracking Boom
The waste disposal and recycling company has acquired Summit Energy Services and Liquid Logistics, two North Dakota energy services companies.
The purchases give Waste Management access to new markets in the Bakken Shale formation — and expertise the company can use in other regions where it provides environmental services to energy companies, says Harry Lamberton, vice president of energy and environmental services for Waste Management.
Lamberton says the addition of 140 employees from the two companies add skills and services including oil well-site maintenance, road and well-site pad construction, storm water and erosion control management, aggregate crushing and sales and well monitoring pumping. He says WM will eventually offer rig maintenance and tank cleaning, drill cuttings solidification and fracking waste disposal.
WM, Lamberton says, aims to be the “most capable and comprehensive oilfield services provider in the Bakken Shale.”
Fracking waste disposal represents a $30 billion annual expansion of the waste disposal business, The Times-Picayune reports, quoting industry executives at the WasteExpo in New Orleans in May.
In cashing in on the shale boom and expanding into the energy sector, Investors Business Daily says Waste Management following in the footsteps of US Silica and railroads Union Pacific and CSX.
Some 60 percent of US Silica’s revenue comes from the energy sector, the financial news publication reports. The company produces the mineral that helps with oil and gas fracking; it used to be primarily used to make glass and industrial products.
Investors Business Daily says US crude shipments by train grew from 9,500 carloads in 2008 to 233,811 carloads in 2012, citing the Association of American Railroads.
Water treatment and technology companies also stand to grow their profits as oil and gas companies feel the pressure to cut their freshwater use in dry areas of the country — where much of the fracking is happening.
Earlier this month 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.
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.
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.
Also last month, Nuverra Environmental Solutions entered into an agreement with Halliburton to advance the treatment and recycling of produced water to be re-used in the fracking process.
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