San Antonio-based Petro Waste Environmental (PWE) announced the opening of its newest state-of-the-art nonhazardous oil and gas waste landfill facility in Howard County, Texas.
“We are very excited about the opening of the Howard County landfill, which now gives us two facilities operating in the Permian Basin,” said Petro Waste founder and chief executive officer George Wommack. “With its opening, we are positioned to better serve oil and gas operators in the Northern Midland Basin efficiently, cost-effectively, and in an environmentally responsible manner.”
The 144-acre Howard County landfill will accept oil-based mud, water-based mud, oil-based drill cuttings, water-based drill cuttings, contaminated soil, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act-exempt nonhazardous exploration and production waste. The facility will provide washouts and other ancillary services. The Howard County landfill will be PWE’s second facility in the Permian Basin. The first facility, which opened 3 April, is located in Reeves County at Orla and provides the same services as the Howard County facility. Petro Waste also holds permits to construct and operate similar facilities in Pecos, Reagan, and DeWitt counties to service future activity in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale.
Oil and gas exploration and production creates various forms of waste that must be processed and disposed of according to strict regulations set by the Railroad Commission of Texas and the US Environmental Protection Agency. In recent years, technological advancements have helped exploration and production companies extract hydrocarbons from the Earth more efficiently but have increased the volume of nonhazardous solid wastes and high-solids-content waste fluids. However, the lack of infrastructure in the Permian and Eagle Ford plays capable of efficiently processing and disposing of these waste streams made it necessary to truck large quantities of the wastes over long distances.
Wommack founded PWE in 2012 to address this infrastructure shortage. Since then, PWE has been constructing state-of-the-art waste-processing and disposal facilities throughout the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale.
The oil and gas waste-processing industry has progressed significantly in recent years, and Petro Waste is aligning itself to meet the new challenges. Looking ahead, Wommack said he expects more stringent regulation because of increasing public interest in the use and disposal of exploration and production waste. This will lead to an even higher level of engineering standards in facility design and the construction of more institutional-quality facilities as environmental stewardship becomes a greater focus in the industry.
“Petro Waste Environmental is building its facilities and training its personnel with that future in mind,” Wommack said. “Using innovative, forward-thinking operations, we are reducing environmental impacts of the oil and gas industry today, and those benefits will only multiply as the company expands operations to other plays throughout the United States.”