More and more producers are replacing fresh water with treated produced water in fracture stimulation and
in other applications. When invoking best practices in the treatment process, this is a great idea. It can save money while lessening the ever-increasing competition for fresh water.
Orion Water Solutions President Warren Sumner offers some pointers on how to keep costs in line while still reducing total suspended solids (TSS), iron, and bacteria to acceptable levels.
Big is okay but smaller is often better.
“While many operators are building produced-water pits that will hold a million barrels of water or more, there are several reasons smaller may be better,” Sumner says.
“We are seeing operators build smaller in-ground pits with built-in aeration, chemical injection, and solids removal. This is one of the best things you can do to lower the cost and increase the performance of your treatment pro-gram.” Smaller pits are easier to keep clean and chemically stable. “By using the pit as a pre-treatment step, it makes it easier for companies like Orion to treat high volumes of water that consistently meet frac fluid specifications.”
“Produced water has large amounts of iron, sulfates and other food for bacteria. Any size pit can go septic quickly, but the larger ones are more costly to maintain and very difficult to bring under control when things go bad.” The best plan is to keep the water aerated and circulated.
Mobile units get up and running quickly Increasingly, operators are borrowing a page from just-in-time manufacturing techniques. “Many operators are using smaller pits or above ground storage tanks to store enough treated water for a day or two’s requirements, as needed for current frac jobs.”
To supply those tanks Orion offers dissolved air floatation (DAF) units capable of treating from 10,000 to 25,000 BBL/D. These units can be set up quickly, can be easily moved as water volumes on a site fluctuate, and have a compact footprint so multiple units can be linked to treat 100,000 bbl/day or more.
Blending fresh and produced water keeps cost down.
One cost-effective solution is to treat 20,000 BBL/D of produced water and blend it with 30,000 BBL/D of fresh water to make 50,000 bbl/d of frac fluid. “This blend helps operators stay within certain parameters in order to keep frac chemical prices under control,” Sumner says. “For example, total dissolved solids levels under 45,000 ppm allow a producer to use less costly friction reducers.”
Where needed, the company employs its extensive experience in offering oxidative biocides during frac jobs.
Orion’s systems have proven their reliability in the field. More than one system has been in operation 24/7 for five years. Onsite, Orion uses remote monitoring and automation to provide operators the data they need to make informed water treatment decisions.
Orion’s Midland team brings their expertise and dedication to excellence to every job, including yours. Call them this week and let them help you optimize your water treatment.
Call us today at (432) 219-8100.