News in brief

A roundup of the main developments regarding water in the oil & gas industry for August 1-28

North America

NGL Energy Partners entered a 10-year water gathering and disposal contract with an unnamed northern Delaware Basin operator. The company will service the new contract, which includes an acreage dedication spanning 10,000 acres, with its existing infrastructure. This deal follows another 15-year water midstream deal in the same basin signed last month. The water midstream company also said in its Q2 earnings call that it had brought online a new 30-inch pipeline in Eddy County, and plans to complete a tie-in at customer ExxonMobil’s Poker Lake asset this fall. According to the call transcript, NGL has also reduced monthly operating expenditure for its water segment by around $2 million since June.
Technology developer RWI released its PittBoss evaporation system to reduce industrial wastewater volumes, trimming disposal costs. The new model “uses air and an open water wave formula to increase the liquid’s surface area and boundary layer sweeps to boost evaporation,” the company’s R&D director, Robert Ballantyne, said in a press statement.
Following the passage of Senate Enrolled Act 002, Wyoming’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said it would update saltwater disposal well (SWD) rules to expand its regulating authority beyond producer-owned SWDs to commercial SWD. The changes are expected to ease third-party produced water management in the state. The commission will receive public comments on the intended changes through October 5, and a hearing to consider the amendments will be held on October 13.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a final environmental impact statement for ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project in Alaska, whose expected output of 160,000 bbl/d will offset declines at the North Slope asset. As part of the project, produced water will be processed at a central facility before reinjection for secondary recovery. Willow will have produced water and treated water pipelines connecting drilling sites and the processing facility, as well as seawater pipelines to import additional fluid for reinjection. The BLM will make its final approval decision on the project in September.
Services and supplies company Patriot Environmental added a suite of produced and freshwater monitoring and chemical analysis solutions to its portfolio through the acquisition of Transwater.
Canada’s Husky Energy reported a 10% reduction in steam use at its Sandall, Edam East and Edam West in-situ oil sands projects with White Whale’s DeepSea AI analytics platform. According to a press release, DeepSea collects data from sensors installed downhole and at the surface to optimize “steam distribution and pump control across the entire field rather than a single or subset of wells.”
Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission has approved three unconventional exploration requests submitted by NOC Pemex. The Xanati, Yuban and Chuyan areas designated for exploration, all located in Veracruz state’s portion of the Tampico-Misantla Basin, together may hold nearly 1.2 billion boe of hydrocarbons.

Middle East

A produced water desalination pilot conducted by Saudi Aramco was chosen by Global Water Intelligence as the Industrial Project of the Year. The project saw the national oil company (NOC) use a Vacom mechanical vapor compression unit to desalinate produced water with a total dissolved solids concentration of up to 100,000 mg/l. The recovered distilled water can be reused for crudewashing, saving as much as 8.3 million m3/yr of groundwater.
Saudi Arabian legislators approved an agreement with Kuwait to end a five-year border dispute that in 2015 caused Chevron to halt operations in an area known as the Partitioned Neutral Zone. The super-major is expected to continue with its plans for the Wafra Steamflood Stage 1 Project, which would see a heavy oil output of 100,000 bbl/d.


Oilfield services providers NOV and BSC Separation Technology were both finalists in the 34th annual SPE Aberdeen Offshore Achievement Awards for technologies related to produced water management. NOV’s Seabox is a 40,000 bbl/d subsea module in which disinfection is performed via electrochlorination and particles are settled out through gravitational separation, resulting in a water quality suitable for waterflooding. BSC was nominated for its super-compact subsea multi-phase production separator, which debottlenecks water from fields.