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 hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Marathon Oil has been using Omni’s Hippo mobile water treatment unit in a water recycling pilot project to convert produced water into fresh water, clean brine and hydro-carbon streams. The pilot’s goal was to reduce boron levels from 90 parts per million to less than 5 parts per million in the fresh water stream.
Omni says its Hippo met the goal, treating more than 140,000 barrels to date, with results verified by analysis from three different independent labs.
The 2,500-barrel per day and 10,000-barrel per day Hippo systems for treating brackish, flowback and produced water come equipped with the company’s patented OctoZone technology. The real-time sense and respond automation system enables oil and gas operators to treat and re-use water at a lower cost with more consistent results, the company says. After treatment through the platform, the water can be re-used in subsequent drilling and completions instead of lost to disposal.
Water treatment and technology companies stand to grow their profits as oil and gas companies feel the pressure to cut their freshwater use in Texas and other dry areas of the country — where much of the fracking is happening.
Earlier this month Select Energy Services and Fountain Quail Water Management formed a joint venture to expand their oilfield and shale gas water treatment and recycling services. The companies have completed a recycling project in Texas’ Permian region for a large, public, independent E&P company, which the companies say has successfully treated and recycled nearly 300,000 barrels of water on site.
Last 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.
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.
And researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Southwest Research Institute are investing $200,000 in new research to develop a low-cost method to treat flow-back water following fracking. Over the next year, the researchers will use an inexpensive charcoal product called biochar for the water treatment method. It will be tested on water samples from the Eagle Ford Shale.