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Turning Dirty Produced Water Into Fresh Water and Salt To Sell

Source: Antero Resources.
An aerial view of Antero’s Clearwater water treatment plant, which will turn 60,000 B/D of produced water into fresh water and salable salt, which is a major test of whether advanced treatment technology can lower the cost of water management.

In a little more than a decade, the way water is supplied for fracturing in the Marcellus play has gone from “a truck with a hose in the creek” to “a massive industrial system” for water transport and treatment.

The description was offered by Conrad Baston, general manager of civil design for Antero Resources, who has played a key role in a major example of the change: a $750-million system to transport, store, and convert produced water into fresh water for use in its operations in West Virginia and Ohio.

The first stage was the most expensive—$500 million spent on 200 miles of buried and temporary pipelines to deliver fresh water for fracturing and 23 large freshwater impoundments to ensure a ready supply of water to fracture ever-longer horizontal wells. The water delivered by the system since 2014 would have required 1.4 million truck trips, and it has also reduced the volume of water drawn from local streams.

Stage 1 was part of a larger industry trend. What comes next is different. It is a one-of-a-kind $275-million plant that will convert 60,000 B/D of dirty, high-salinity water into fresh water and salt when it is fully operational next spring.

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Turning Dirty Produced Water Into Fresh Water and Salt To Sell

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 November 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 11

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