Source: Dow Jones News Service, November 19, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
Companies are racing to find ways to recycle the water used in hydraulic fracturing, chasing an emerging market that could be worth billions of dollars.
From energy industry giants Halliburton Corp. and Schlumberger Ltd. to smaller outfits such as Ecologix Environmental Systems LLC, companies are pursing technologies to reuse the “frack water” that comes out of wells after hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” — the process of using highly pressured water and chemicals to coax oil and gas out of shale- rock formations.
While the recycled water can’t currently be cleaned up enough for drinking or growing crops, it can be cleaned of chemicals and rock debris and reused to frack additional wells, which could sharply cut the costs that energy companies face securing and disposing of water.
Some companies are finding it is still cheaper in many parts of the U.S. to inject the wastewater deep underground instead of cleaning it, which has slowed adoption of recycling technology. But experts say that is likely to change as fracking grows.
At Schlumberger, which predicts that a million new wells will be fracked around the world between now and 2035, reducing freshwater use “is no longer just an environmental issue — it has to be an issue of strategic importance,” Salvador Ayala, vice president of well-production services, told a recent conference.
Though fracking has brought U.S. oil production to its highest level in more than 14 years and produced a glut of natural gas, it requires huge amounts of water, raising costs for energy companies and spurring opposition from environmental groups at a time when some states are suffering through droughts.…
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY), February 14, 2011
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
For the third time in less than three years, Childers Oil in Whitesburg has been tied to pollution that shut down the city’s water system.
Residents smelled petroleum in their tap water Saturday morning, and the municipal treatment plant was immediately shut down. On Monday, after testing and searching all weekend, officials determined that diesel fuel had leaked down a ditch line from the Childers Oil bulk plant upstream from the water treatment plant, said state Division of Water spokeswoman Allison Fleck.
Workers drilled concrete at the plant Monday afternoon, trying to determine precisely which pipe or tank was leaking.
“It was a miniscule amount,” Childers Oil owner Don Childers told the Herald-Leader Monday. “We’re working on it. We haven’t pinpointed a source. For all we know it could have been (someone else) dumping in the ditch line.”
Childers Oil donated pallets of water to be distributed to customers of Whitesburg’s water system.…
By Pam Hunter
The Environmental Protection Agency on Nov. 9 issued a subpoena to oil-field services contractor Halliburton for failing to provide information the agency needs to complete its congressionally mandated study on hydraulic fracturing, or “hydrofracking.”
Eight other hydrofracking firms that received voluntary information requests in September agreed to submit “timely and complete information” to EPA, the agency said.
But Houston-based Halliburton took another tack, refusing to give EPA full data on the company’s hydraulic fracturing operations over the past five years. “Because the agency’s request was so broad, potentially requiring the company to prepare approximately 50,000 spreadsheets, we have met with the agency and had several additional discussions with EPA personnel in order to help narrow the focus of their unreasonable demands,” Halliburton said. The company said it had posted on its website information about many of the chemicals used.…
Florida real estate developer St. Joe Co. is suing Halliburton Co. over its role in the rig explosion that led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
St. Joe states that Halliburton, which was responsible for encasing BP PLC’s subsea well in cement, ignored safety procedures and didn’t properly manage the cementing process. In deepwater drilling, cementing is a critical element in preventing oil and gas from escaping from the well.
“As a result, the cementing failed, allowing oil and gas to escape the well which caused the catastrophic blowout,” St. Joe said. The cause of the blowout has not yet determined. Multiple investigations are ongoing.…