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Water Management Techbook 2018

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EPmag.com | April 2018 | 29 WATER MANAGEMENT: TECHNOLOGY An automated water proportioning system controls and blends the flow of multiple water sources based on incoming water quality and desired output parameters. (Photo courtesy of Select Energy Services) • There has been a "culling of the herd" among treatment companies. Many of the smaller "black-box" treatment companies are gone and those remaining generally focus on rugged, proven technology; • Unconventional wells are developing ever-longer laterals with more stages. This means more water per completion. The biggest challenges now involve managing the treatment, transfer and storage logistics associated with these ever-larger fracture volumes (often well over 600,000 bbl/fracture); • The industry is witnessing the advent of water midstream infrastructure. Several large players are investing in multimillion- dollar pipeline networks to help get the water (both fracture supply and wastewater) where it needs to go. This helps recycling as large volumes of produced water are now agglomerated to where they can be recycled at a low cost; and • Produced water recycling is now widely accepted by the energy industry. When water needs are forecast it becomes apparent that recycling produced water is a no-brainer for lowering completions costs, especially as the cost of freshwater and disposal continues to increase. Water management technology drivers Mark Patton, president, Hydrozonix, said there are two drivers for technology in water management. "One is cost reduction and the second seems to be a movement to automation and data collecting, including water quality and water volumes. This data are critical to a successful water management pro- gram. Service companies are being forced to build in cost reductions while developing new approaches to water management," he said. A few years ago customers were saying they needed to treat their water, but they didn't know what level to treat. "People were paying a lot more money than they needed to pay. Now people are actually starting to develop water specifications," Patton said. "We are seeing a kind of convergence where people are narrowly focusing on only what they need to take care of in the treatment." Dirk Martin, chief sales officer at APATEQ, added a third major driver—regulations. "Some states [in the U.S.] have already prohibited the disposal of produced water and frack flowback into disposal wells as it is considered a risk to cause earthquakes," he said. "Oil and gas producers now need to find different ways to handle wastewater from oil and gas production, which accumulates in large quantities." If these companies can no longer use disposal wells, they are looking for economically advantageous alternatives to remain competitive and attractive to their customers. "Instead of discharging the water into disposal wells where it is lost and potentially hazardous, we decided to take another path and treat the water up to an effluent quality where it can be repurposed for various applications such as refracking, EOR or drill- ing, thus saving freshwater and costs. We can do that at a quite competitive cost level that is below $1/bbl for small installations and a few cents for large-sale units," he continued. "There are always a number of drivers. Often the driver is regulation, especially when you're talking about wastewater," said Mark Nicholson, senior busi- ness development manager for oil and gas, Veolia Water Technologies. "Other drivers for our clients would be the minimization of capex and opex. Those three are probably the biggest drivers for the techno- logies we generally market in the U.S. Ideally product development will improve on all three facets—that is improved environmental performance while still yielding lower capex and opex for our clients." Carla Robinson, Veolia's marketing manager for oil and gas, added, "The price of oil has been so depressed in the past few years; the cost of doing business has to be reduced for our clients so they can improve their

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