Water Recycling Companies Getting a Foothold in the Eagle FordSource: Fuel Fix | 9 April 2014
At a freshly-cleared 11-acre site, oilfield water flows from tank to tank. It starts off opaque and yellowish, heavy with salt, iron, manganese, calcium, and residual oil.
But after about a day, it’s so clear a jar of it looks like tap water—and it’s clean enough to reuse in oilfield operations.
Water—and how it’s sourced—has been an increasingly hot topic in the oil patch. Drilling a well in the Eagle Ford shale and other tight formations requires several million gallons of water.
But Cobb & Associates, which recently opened a site just south of Pearsall, is among the companies cleaning up oilfield water and saying it can compete with the cost of pumping fresh water from a well. It uses a proprietary process that causes any solids in the water to coagulate, clumping together and falling to the bottom.
“We can take the salt water their wells are already producing and clean it up,” said Jeremy Roberts, yard manager with Cobb’s Pearsall location. “The technology is there. There’s virtually no reason for the oil companies to use all of the freshwater they’re pumping out of the ground.”