Water technology flowed through the nominations for the 2014 Bruno Hanson/Midland College Environmental Excellence Award.
Eventually members of the advisory committee chosen to select a recipient chose Fasken Oil and Ranch for its efforts to reduce its use of fresh water in its hydraulic fracturing operations by recycling produced water and then turning to brackish water from the Santa Rosa formation. The Midland-based company anticipates ending its use of fresh water in drilling and completion operations on its C Ranch that covers Andrews, Ector and Midland counties by the end of this year.
“With record high levels of oil and gas activity in the Permian Basin and the need for water in hydraulic fracturing operations, Environmental Stewardship and water conservation is more critical than ever. Fasken understands that fresh water is a critical resource everywhere in West Texas. In 2013 and continuing in 2014 Fasken begin using recycled produced water for use in their hydraulic fracturing operations. They supplemented the water beginning in 2013 with brackish water from the Santa Rosa formation. Now Fasken plans to end the use of all potable groundwater on their C Ranch by the end of 2014.
“Although a number of companies have recycled water to meet hydraulic fracturing needs, Fasken has truly been proactive in protecting the resource. They are active in New Mexico and working with other operators and New Mexico regulators to help change the New Mexico Pit Rules. They are also working to change the anticipated Rule 34 multi-use pit so that produced water can be recycled and utilized for hydraulic fracturing. In fact Fasken is one of the leading companies in the effort to re-draft and implement those rules,” said Hoxie Smith, executive director of Midland College’s Petroleum Professional Development Center.
“At great cost for such a system, Fasken is being a good steward on their own land when they don’t have to. They are not being pushed by regulators, lease owners, or outside landowners to do so,” commented Gil Van Deventer, partner, project manager and senior hydrologist with Trident Environmental.
He went on to note that Fasken is building its system for long term use, including water for other beneficial use including residential, a new elementary school and irrigation for landscaping, parks and recreational purposes as the company’s Vineyard master-planned development expands.
“One of the criteria for the subject award is that the candidate should exhibit a proactive approach to environmental enhancement beyond regulatory compliance. Fasken Oil and Ranch has done exemplary work in recycling produced water and fracturing fluids and in processing brackish water for use in their operations. These efforts lead to a goal of eliminating demand for fresh water, thus helping to extend this valuable resource which is critical considering the drought conditions in the Permian Basin.
“Fasken can be regarded as a model of responsible citizenship in the eyes of the petroleum industry and the public,” said Arlen Edgar.
“Fasken Oil and Ranch has over 80 years of history in oil and gas production in the Permian Basin. As a large landowner themselves they understand the importance of protecting the land and environment as well as the as well as protecting resources that are important to the future of the Permian Basin. They are among the leaders in finding new and innovative ways to reuse and recycle water resources from oil and gas operations which leads to the conservation of this resource for the benefit of all,” stated Mike Jacobs.
In partnership with Water Rescue Inc. of Fort Worth, Fasken located a system at an SWD battery to take advantage of existing pipeline infrastructure. Through a process utilizing electrocoagulation, flocculation, and chemical treatment produced water is made suitable for use for hydraulic fracturing by removing dissolved solids such as iron and other gross particulates. Presently, Water Rescue’s recycling system is processing 5,000-8,000 barrels per day and has recycled more than 2 million barrels of produced water to date.