Oil Operators Conserving Fresh Water in the Concho Valley

More oilfield service companies are looking for ways to conserve water. We visit with representatives of one company who are doing their part to conserve; by using different technologies in the process they are able to recycle and reuse water for future fracking operations.

Although Hydraulic Fracturing and total mining accounts for less than one percent of statewide water use, it can take up to eight million (M) gallons of water to drill a single well.

Conservation is key, and today we continue to look at how Bosque Systems uses water recycling technologies to reduce the dependency of fresh water used.

The ongoing drought in the Concho Valley has shed light on how much water the fracturing industry is using, adding much focus on how to conserve fresh water.

Bosque Systems, a Fort Worth based company, partners with five oil operators in the Concho Valley to access and collect about 60 percent of the water injected in wells that comes back to the surface during the fracking process, otherwise known as flowback and production water.

Vice President of Business Development, Peter Pappas, says Bosque is one of the largest water management companies in the nation, employing over 130 people in the Concho Valley.

"We'll treat that water, score that water and move the water around the field to make it frack ready for them, so they can use that water rather than the fresh water in the fracking process," Pappas said.

The Railroad Commission of Texas were the first in the nation to enact a rule last year, adopting a comprehensive regulation of recycling fluids in oil and gas production.

Pappas says Bosque is not strictly focused on the reduction of fresh water used, but also by using "green solutions."

"We use 'DIONIX' and 'Ancat' and some other technologies that we have, to remove contaminants from the water and also it allows us to replace the traditional biocides," Pappas said.

This specific 'Ancat' unit is built to treat 20,000 barrels of brackish water a day, which is 840,000 gallons.

Vice President of Technology, Robert Mitchell, says although their new process is more intricate it keep harmful contaminants from being discharged in the ground.

"They were using harmful chemicals to force precipitate out the solids and the contaminants in the water and then those are actually having to go to landfills and a different level of landfills, so they were harmful contaminants being processed by the chemical," Mitchell said.

Mitchell says the contaminants in the water must be removed so they don't cause problems for the well and the fracturing process.

"If you don't treat the water that's going in the hold, there's many things that can happen. Corrosion, Microbial Corrosion, the souring of the well, scaling in the well; all of those things happen because of contaminants that are in the water," Mitchell said.

Pappas says, last year Bosque saved over 160 million (M) gallons of fresh water in San Angelo.

"It's not just a Bosque Systems, but it's a focus on the industry to reduce the dependency of fresh water," Pappas said.

Last year, Bosque Systems saved over 5 billion (B) gallons of fresh water nationwide.

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