American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 40

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SpecialReport: Water Management
For produced water to be reused, he
describes, it must be treated and stored
until a hydraulic fracturing treatment is
under way, at which point it is transported
to the job site, and re-treated to remove
any problems that appeared during storage.
It's sometimes necessary to move water
by truck, but Still points out that pipelines
reduce costs and pose fewer safety and
environmental risks.
"Until recently, Permian Basin operators could take care of their water by
drilling a shallow disposal well near the
tank battery. There was no need for integrated pipeline networks, so in many
areas, it is not yet economic to move
water long distances," Still mentions.
But pipeline networks are expanding.
"Most pipelines are owned and operated
by producers, but during the past five
years, the number of midstream service
companies that focus specifically on
water has boomed," Still relates. "This
is particularly true in the Delaware
Basin, where wells tend to have higher
water cuts and there are fewer shallow
disposal wells."
While he expresses appreciation for
midstream companies' economies of scale,
Still says Guidon prefers to build its own
infrastructure. "Water is central enough
to our business that we want to control
our own destiny," he explains. "If we had
to put a frac spread on standby because

we were waiting on water or shut in a
well because we could not find enough
disposal capacity, the costs and lost
revenue would add up quickly."
Recycling Process
Drawing on 10 years of experience
with water recycling, including time at
Laredo and Pioneer, Guidon's team has
adopted an approach to recycling it describes as simple.
"At our recycling facilities, we have
two 80,000 barrel pits that hold raw produced water," says Chuck Pounds, the
company's manager for surface land and
water. "While the water is in the first pit,
we use a vacuum truck to skim the oil off
the top. We leave the water there until
the solids settle out."
After that, Guidon uses a submersible
pump to move the water to the second
pit, where it is treated with ozone to
control bacteria, iron and other constituents. "Ozone is one of the best bacteria killers and oxidizers available,"
Pounds says. "We create it naturally
using the corona method, which involves
pulling ambient air across electricity, so
we do not need to transport chemicals
to the site."
The pits are double-lined and equipped
with leak detection, Pounds assures. He
adds that the bottoms are sloped to force
the precipitating solids to collect in the

center, where a suction line keeps the
solids from accumulating.
Once the water has been treated with
ozone, it is pumped to a storage pit and
held until it is needed for a completion.
The 750,000 barrel storage pit has several
aeration systems, venturi valves at the
bottom that keep the water moving and
suffuse it with oxygen microbubbles.
"Oxygen is an oxidizer, so it helps control
bacteria, and iron," Pounds explains.
"We went with the ozone and aeration
combo after looking at nine recycling
technologies because it is simple and
easy to scale," he details.
In addition to maintaining the water's
quality, Pounds says aeration slows evaporation by replacing the warm water at
the top of each pond with cold water.
"The Midland Basin is hot enough in
the summer that we can lose three inches
of water to evaporation on a calm day
and four or five inches on a windy day,"
he reports.
Those fast evaporation rates can be a
blessing when the water is too far from
completion activity to be reused and Guidon
wants an inexpensive way to reduce its
disposal volumes, Still notes. He says that
situation should become less common as
pipeline networks interconnect.
"There are companies developing
more efficient treatment technologies so
we can afford to clean water enough it
can be used on farms and in cities," Still
adds. "For example, a large manufacturer
is working with Waterfield, another
Blackstone company, to test a miniature
desalination plant that should be far
more economic than traditional designs
if it is successful."
Recycling's Rise

Guidon Energy's recycling facilities use a four-pit process to prepare produced water
for reuse. The initial pit allows oil to collect on the surface so it can be skimmed off. In
the next pit, the water is treated with ozone to control contaminants such as bacteria
and iron. Finally, the water moves to a large storage pit, where aeration preserves its
quality. The remaining pit holds freshwater. Guidon says it adopted this approach because it is cost-effective and suitable for high produced water volumes.

40 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

Interest in recycling continues to grow,
says Mark Patton, president of Hydrozonix.
"Producers and midstream companies
have gone from building facilities that
can recycle 20,000 barrels a day to ones
that can handle 40,000 or 60,000. We are
even hearing talk of 100,000 bbl/d facilities," he reports.
Patton says advances in automation
and remote monitoring are improving
plants' efficiency. He cites the company's
experience operating plants for clients
using a cloud-based dashboard that shows
how much water is moving through the
facility and tracks its location. The user
can turn pumps on and off or open and



American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - Intro
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 4
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 5
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 6
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