Facilities in Eddy, Lea counties to recycle, reuse water waste from oil and gas
Facilities to treat and recycle waste water from oil and gas operations are coming to southeast New Mexico, in Eddy and Lea Counties.
Houston-based Solaris Water Midstream announced the launch of operations at its Lobo Ranch Produced Water Recycling and Blending Center in Eddy County in a July 17 news release.
The facility was located near Solaris’ Lobo 285 water disposal well along U.S. Highway 285 south of Malaga, read the release.
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Lobo Ranch includes a produced water treatment system, along with storage capacity up to 1.8 million barrels for treated and produced water.
It also consists of a 16-inch pipeline for re-delivery to pickup at a final staging location.
The facility has the capacity to treat up to 80,000 barrels of produced water per day and receive another 80,000 barrels per day of non-potable water.
It can also re-deliver as many at 200,000 barrels per day of blended water to customers for well completions.
Initially, Lobo Ranch contracted with a customer for the purchase of 16 million barrels of recycled and blended frac water through the remainder of 2019.
The company also plans to construct its Bronco Produced Water Recycling and Blending Facility in Lea County.
That site will be able to treat up to 80,000 barrels per day and will service a major producer’s completion operations starting in September and through the end of the year.
Solaris also plans to construct additional “large-scale” water recycling and blending facilities in the two counties over the next two years, the release read.
Solaris Chief Executive Officer Bill Zartler said the facilities centered in the northern Delaware Basin – the New Mexico side of the greater Permian Basin, one of America’s most prolific oil and gas plays – will help operators save money while protecting freshwater supplies.
“Our high-capacity recycling facilities are integrated with our pipelines and network of disposal wells across an area that covers a significant portion of the Northern Delaware basin,” he said.
“We are taking thousands of water trucks off the road, saving precious groundwater, helping our customers achieve operational and cost efficiencies. Our integrated system both saves our customers money and provides significant environmental and safety benefits.”
Last summer, Solaris announced it acquired New Mexico water supply business Vision Resources, in a move that gave Solaris water rights to more than 15 million barrels of industrial water per year.
Vision held assets located in areas that complemented Solaris’ Pecos Star System throughout the Delaware Basin, and the acquisition included access to “significant” sources of water, freshwater storage ponds, and more than 200 miles of water supply pipelines and subsequent rights of way.
The Pecos Star System runs through Eddy and Lea counties, crossing into Texas in Culberson and Loving counties.
It offers operators access to integrated water, transportation, disposal and recycling infrastructure throughout the Delaware Basin.
“The integration of the water supply business acquired from Vision means that Solaris Water’s Pecos Star System now provides oil and gas producers in Eddy County with a one-stop source of full-cycle water services including water supply and transportation,” read a Solaris news release.
“The acquisition further accelerates the expansion of Solaris Water’s recycled water network.”
Meanwhile, Solaris also built an 11-mile water supply line to connect to the system, transporting about 150,000 barrels of water per day from Loving County to Eddy County.
It went into service in July 2018.
“The Vision acquisition is very exciting for us because it significantly expands our Pecos Star System,” Zartler said. “Our customers are seeking a single, secure source for not only water handling and supply, but all fluid handling, including recycling and disposal.”
Ryan Flynn, executive director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association said water management became the “No. 1” priority for oil producers throughout the state amid a boom in hydraulic fracturing throughout the southeastern corner.
He said advances in technology not only allowed for water midstream companies like Solaris to address environmental concerns, but provide companies a sound economic practice to sustain the industry’s recent growth.
“Because of the advances that are being made we’re seeing the costs associated with water conservation, water recycling and water reuse are starting to come down so that it makes economic sense,” Flynn said.
“I think you see an environmental need, combined with an economic opportunity. You’re seeing a lot of momentum right now, regarding this issue.”
The cost of freshwater increased, Flynn said, as groundwater sources were depleted in New Mexico's desert region, and production volumes continued to grow.
That meant more oil was brought, but also more water was contaminated.
“Just the sheer volume of production is making the reuse and recycling of water even more economical. It’s driving the cost down. And the cost of freshwater is going up,” Flynn said.
“I think the goal of the industry is to reuse as much water as possible in our operations. I think we want to go as close to 100 percent as we can.”
More oil and gas news:
- Oil and gas royalty firms consolidate Delaware Basin acreage, prices dip due to supply
- More of New Mexico's public land offered to oil and gas industry, price per barrel stabilizes
- Oil and gas leads New Mexico to earn more than $1 billion from state land
- New Mexico oil and gas fees go into effect, raise funds for IT
- New Mexico gets millions more in revenue from oil and gas than predicted
- Bill giving teeth to oil and gas regulators passes the NM Legislature
Adrian Hedden can be reached at 575-628-5516, firstname.lastname@example.org or @AdrianHedden on Twitter.