American Oil and Gas Reporter - August 2017 - 61

SpecialReport: Hydraulic Fracturing Technology

By providing detailed data on disposal wells, Digital H2O's water management platform
helps producers identify their most economic disposal options. The company points out
the platform covers the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford, Barnett, Bakken and Marcellus plays.

can optimize their routes there and eventually build a produced water pipeline to
take trucks off the road," he adds.
Producers have achieved impressive
results using the database's information,
Chavez assures. "The vast majority of
our clients have reduced their trucking
distances significantly," he says. "One of
our clients has reported saving $600,000
a month by reducing disposal costs for its
operations in two West Texas counties."
Based on user feedback, Digital H2O
is expanding coverage and information
its database provides, Chavez reports.
"For example, to help operators in Texas
find freshwater sources, we are integrating
a freshwater well database that contains
almost 270,000 wells. That is nearly
twice as many wells as the database
maintained by the Texas Water Development Board," he says.
The company also gathers completion
data from FracFocus.org, including proppant and water volumes for each completion. "Producers can use that information to compare other companies' completion processes and determine which
approach provides better results," he
points out.
In addition to improving its core database, Digital H2O is developing a new
tool that will help operators manage and
balance water inventories, Chavez reveals.
Through a secure, online environment,
the service will collect, aggregate and
mine internal data and Digital H2O's information to plan and optimize the entire
water life cycle, he says.
"It will inform decisions on where to

get water for a completion and how to
get it to the pad using internal cost information. Then it will estimate how much
water the well will produce, allowing
operators to plan how to recycle or dispose
of the water as economically as possible,"
Chavez describes.
He says he expects the software to be
commercially available in 2018.
Mineral Miracle
What if oil and gas companies could
offset treatment costs by extracting valuable minerals from produced water?
According to Jared Lazerson, president
and chief executive officer of MGX Min-

erals Inc., that is becoming possible. "We
have developed filters that use reagents
and special membranes to act like magnets
for specific minerals. This lets us pull
the minerals from produced water," he
says.
The process can be implemented with
a small, skid-mounted unit, Lazerson explains. He estimates it will cost less than
trucking water to a distant disposal well
but more than sending the water to an infield disposal well. "There are two offsets
to the cost," he says. "First, the system
purifies the water enough for it to be
reused."
The system removes 99.97 percent of
physical particulate, Lazerson details. He
says this allows reuse not only in drilling
fluids, completion systems and waterfloods, but also in agricultural and industrial applications, which account for
two-thirds of U.S. water consumption.
"In many areas, reusing the water will
reduce trucking, the major expense in
water handling," he says.
"The other offset is the minerals. The
most valuable minerals are lithium, which
is used to make the batteries that power
smart phones, tablets, and electric vehicles,
and magnesium, a common industrial
feedstock. We also extract sodium, calcium
and potassium, which can be worthwhile
in proximity to a local market. For example, sodium may be used to make
sodium chloride, a feedstock for the chlorine used in municipal water facilities
across the United States.
"In some areas, extracting the minerals

In response to growing demand for batteries, lithium prices have increased each of the
past six years. By extracting lithium and other valuable minerals during produced water
treatment, MGX Minerals Inc. says oil and gas companies can offset treatment costs.

AUGUST 2017 61


http://www.FracFocus.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - August 2017

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