Rockwater Energy Solutions, a company based out of Houston Texas, recently introduced a whole new department within their business. They call this line, Fluids Conditioning. Which specializes in the reuse and treatment of produced and flowback water. An amazing break through in the oil and gas industry for many reasons.
Rockwater, has both tested and proved that reconditioning and reusing water is no longer just a trending issue looking for resolution, it is now a fully functional operation. The process is mobile, so it can move from one location to another with minor set up, and it also uses a laboratory approved mixture of chemical treatment along with electricity. Thus, producing large volumes of clean water to be used on frac locations.
The “dirty” water starts in a storage tank, and is then flowed into a weir tank, whose main job is to separate the water from the solids. Next, it is chemically treated and enters a machine called the Neohydro Unit. Within this unit, the pathocells are injected with large doses of electricity. The result being that antioxidants are created. Antioxidants then kill off bacteria and dissolve the remaining solids. From this point, the water runs through a DAF (dissolved air flotation) unit. The DAF is responsible for injecting microscopic bubbles into the water. By doing this, it allows for the waste fluid within the water to separate and raise to the surface. Allowing for easy removal by skimming the top. The water is then transferred to a holding tank and is tested by a portable lab. Once approved, the water is available for use on the frac job.
This fluids conditioning operation was put to the test recently in one of two, of the driest states within the US. The need to reuse water in this state is particularly high and a constant concern to environmentalists due the low water content within the earth. It also is a concern for the fracing companies. With an abundance of dry ground and air, the frac work is difficult, expensive, and time consuming. Prior to the introduction of the fluids conditioning unit, the only solution to water deficiency was to have water driven in by truck.. Rockwater, has already successfully cleaned 10,000 barrels of production water that started with very high levels of dissolved solids, for a major oil and gas company in the Rocky Mountain region. The success of the fluids conditioning operation has provided a solution to making the oilfield and Rockwater Energy Solutions, a contender for efficiency in an area so desperate for water. At this time, the company has five units available with teams on hand to go out when needed. Their goal is to double this count by this time next year.
Reuse of water is not just an environmental issue, although this issue is vitally important and a huge step towards preserving the earth. It also has the potential to create mass amounts of added work within the oilfield. Each time fluids conditioning is used, employees are needed to set up, operate, test, take down, and transfer. Although adding employees to operate such a department may seem expensive, it is actually dramatically cheaper then it would cost the normal frac operation to haul in fresh water and dispose of the produced water. The benefits of this operation are so monumental that it is perceived as a possible new and financially feasible way to generate fresh water. So much so, that it is projected to become an added department in a majority of fracing companies. Thus making Rockwater a pioneer in innovation and environmental awareness for the oilfield.
by Gypsy Lyn | Thursday, May 23, 2013