Monday, February 4, 2013

Water and Oil

2/5/2013 Los Angeles-based Sionix Corporation has announced the completion the initial phase of commercial testing of its proprietary water treating technology in the Williston Basin of North Dakota. The processing facility, located in Dickinson, has successfully treated production water from fracking operations in the Bakken formation. The project's proprietary treatment process employed chemical pre-treatment, clarification, filtration and the patented Sionix Dissolved Air Flotation system. The company claims the project has demonstrated significant reductions in total suspended solids, total oils and greases, metals, oxygen demand and turbidity. More

12/22/2012 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an update on its ongoing national study currently underway to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Results of the study, which Congress requested EPA to complete, are expected to be released in a draft for public and peer review in 2014. The update provided today outlines work currently underway, including the status of research projects that will inform the final study.  It is important to note that while this progress report outlines the framework for the final study, it does not draw conclusions about the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, which will be made in the final study. More

12/12/2012 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today approved a permit to allow water from Lake Sakakawea to be piped to Bakken oil drilling sites. The debate over how much water will ultimately to allowed to flow from the lake for fracking use continues, however, since the Corps of Engineers has stated in the past that it would charge a water storage fee for oil companies granted use permits. The details over how that fee would be assessed have not yet been worked out. The State of North Dakota has argued that it owns the water in the Missouri River that flows into Lake Sakakwea and has favored approving permits for fracking and related oil drilling use to help reduce the drain on underground aquifers in the Williston Basin. Read more

11/29/2012  The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that 15 research projects relating to various technical and environmental aspects of shale gas development have been selected to receive a total of $28 million in funding from the DOE's Office of Fossil Energy. Of these, five are related to fracking wastewater issues...More

10/17/2012  OriginOil, Inc. announced today that it has signed its first agreement to license OriginOil’s proprietary CLEAN-FRAC™ process with oil and gas water treatment firm Pearl H2O. The company's patented technologyt reportedly removes oils, suspeneded solids, insoluble organics and bacteria from produced or flowback water from hydraulic fracutring applications on a continuous flow basis and without the use of chemicals. More

10/3/2012 The sheer volume of wastewater produced by shale-gas drilling has created a need for cutting-edge water treatment technologies that are both cost effective and energy efficient. To meet this need, Altela Inc. and its joint venture partners are opening two new wastewater treatment facilities in 2012 that use a unique, patented water desalination process called AltelaRain®, which was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). More

9/24/2012 Scientists at the University of Minnesota are using naturally-occurring bacteria found in porous silica materials to biodegrade contaminants in fracking wastewater. The technology originally was developed to remove agricultural pesticides from soil and water. The goal of the research is to allow the wastewater to be recycled and used to frack other wells, thereby significantly reducing the amount of water used by oil and gas producers in shale petroleum plays. The project is being funded in part by a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for Innovation program. Read more...

9/9/2012 Los Angeles-based OriginOil, Inc. is marketing a technology that uses electrical impulses instead of chemicals to clean water used in hydraulic fracturing. The product originally was designed to separate algae from water so that it can be used to make biofuel.  In a fracking application, the impulses first neutralize the repulsive electrical charge of suspended particles and oil droplets, allowing them to be separated from the water. A second series of impulses lifts the lighter particles to the surface and makes the heavier particles drop to the bottom. The particles are then raked off and processed. The United States Department of Energy’s Idaho National Labs (INL) recently ordered a test scale unit of the technology for use in a demonstration project. Read more... 

4/16/2011 Altela Inc.’s AltelaRain® 4000 water desalination system was tested at BLX, Inc.’s Sleppy well site in Indiana County, Pa. as part of a National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)-sponsored demonstration. During nine continuous months of operation, the unit successfully treated 77 percent of the water stream onsite, providing distilled water as the product. The average treated water cost per barrel over the demonstration period was approximately 20 percent lower compared to the previous total conventional disposal costs at the site. The system also significantly reduced the need for trucking wastewater from the site. More

4/13/2011 In testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday, Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Jeff Cloud stated there has not been a single documented instance of contamination to groundwater or drinking water as a result of hydraulic fracturing during the 50 years the process has been used. Cloud said that statement includes over 100,000 wells in Oklahoma. The key to his state's safety record, Cloud said, is that Oklahoma requires the fluids used in fracking to be either recycled or injected into wells instead of being taken to municipal wastewater treatment plants as reportedly occurs in some areas. Read more...

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