Oilfield Water Weekly

Happy New Year! We hope 2021 is better for all our readers than 2020.

For everyone in the oilfield, 2021 is shaping up to be a year of policy uncertainty when it comes to regulating our industry and today’s newsletter contains quite a few pieces related to this. That said, things are off to a good start on the commodity price front – there’s nothing like a little oil price momentum to put some pressure behind everyone’s everyone’s pipes!

Consider this:

  • At Halloween, WTI was about $35/bbl
  • At Thanksgiving, WTI traded near $40
  • At Christmas, WTI was $48
  • And… at New Years Day, $50 WTI. 

We don’t have a crystal ball on where prices will be by President’s Day, but we like this trend.

And now, the news…

News Digest

New CEO At Select Energy Services

Former CEO Holli C. Ladhani departed the Company effective January 3, 2021 to pursue other opportunities. The Board of Directors has appointed John Schmitz as CEO. Mr. Schmitz will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of the Company.

2020 Ends With The Shakes In West Texas

A 4.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded in West Texas on New Year’s Eve, the largest in a series of three quakes within hours, officials say.

Warning Fulfilled As Some Fracs Rang In The New Year Without Sand

Before the holidays, we warned members to watch out for driver availability as a key risk around the holidays. It's happening this week and multiple frac jobs are experiencing NPT waiting on sand deliveries.... this delays everything including pre-frac water consumption, flowback, and produced water volumes.

Crude Oil Prices Soar As Saudi Arabia Gives The Industry A 'Great New Year Present'

Crude oil prices jumped after Saudi Arabia announced a surprise output cut at the OPEC+ meeting Tuesday.

What's Trending With UIC Applications

B3's last "What's Trending" post of the year documents some interesting findings in the top 6 counties in Texas water markets...

TX RRC Comish Sounds Off On Radical Environmentalism

Commissioner Wayne Christian calls out misplaced concern about emissions in a fiery note...

Carbonet Water Treatment Introductory Video

CarboNet has developed a new way to treat water safely and economically. Their chemicals were first commercialized in the produced water market for the purposes of reuse.

Frac Recycle Update

Our friend Mark Patzkowski at ChemTreat recently shared some interesting water recycling stats...


Evoqua Water Technologies announced it has acquired the industrial water business of privately-held Ultrapure & Industrial Services, LLC, a subsidiary of Driessen Water, Inc.

Flare or desalinate?

Saving money on handling and disposal is great. Capturing the vapors for reuse as desalinated water could be wonderful. It costs money to expand the process into condensation, but it's worth it in certain cases.

Conservation Groups Decry Trump Admin's 11th-Hour Oil, Gas Moves

The Moneta Divide Project would allow Aethon Energy to pump some 30,000 barrels of fracking wastewater, 15,000 feet underground, with most of that water going into the Madison formation. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said 1,500 feet. (10 a.m., Dec. 31, 2020)

Terrebonne and Lafourche waterway projects win final approval after Trump signs bill

Two oilfield navigation projects in Terrebonne and Lafourche are among Louisiana projects that won final approval Sunday after a week of political debate over Congress' COVID-relief and government spending bill.

Concerns about flaring, emissions will continue into 2021

Leyden sees produced water “and water in general as a resource” as an issue for the industry. He applauded efforts in Texas and New Mexico to recycle produced water as it takes pressure off the region’s limited fresh water supplies. As to alternative uses for treated produced water outside the oil patch, “the jury is out on answering that question.”

Power the Future: New Mexico makes hostile environment for oil, gas producers

The New Mexico State Land Office will no longer allow oil refineries to use fresh water from state trust lands. Companies holding easements that allow them to pump fresh water from government lands were notified of the policy change by Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard in a letter.

New Mexico oil and gas industry condemns Deb Haaland nomination as secretary of interior

President-elect Joe Biden’s apparent nomination of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) to head the U.S. Department of the Interior for the incoming administration was denounced by New Mexico oil and gas industry leaders and extraction supporters who feared Haaland’s environmental record could mean stricter restrictions on the fossil fuel sector.

Oil & Gas Wastewater Spills in the Piceance Basin Top 700k Gallons in 2019

About twice a week, oil and gas operators in Colorado’s Piceance Basin file “Form 19” also called a Spill/Release Report with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). Nine times out of 10, the spilled substance is produced water.

Pipeline spills about 400,000 litres, some enters North Saskatchewan River

Contaminated water that leaked from an oilfield pipeline on Christmas Day has entered the North Saskatchewan River but has had no detectable impact on it, says a spokesman for Calgary-based oil and gas producer ARC Resources Ltd.

Mature Fields and Well Revitalization

Waterflooding is the oldest method used for secondary recovery in oil fields because water is readily available and relatively inexpensive. Although the concept behind waterflooding is relatively simple and easy to implement, the reality is different...

Grant Township (Indiana) sued again over refusal to allow fracking water

An energy company again is suing an Indiana County municipality over the right to deposit wastes from oil and gas extraction or fracking there.

Recovering resources from wastewater streams supports the circular economy

​As global megatrends require many industries to find innovative ways to be sustainable and more energy-efficient, a recent paper by a KAUST Ph.D. student and collaborators, published in Nature Communications, offers a novel perspective. The research details a process where ammonium present in wastewater can be removed directly in one step together with the recovery of energy in the form of electrical current or energy-rich hydrogen gas.

Intrepid Potash sees stronger pricing, oilfield activity in 2021

Intrepid Potash (Denver, Colorado) said on Wednesday that potash pricing is trending upward after December price increases and the outlook for drilling and fracking activity continues to improve. ...

Fed survey indicates industry activity and water recycling are rising

Addressing the environment, the survey also asked respondents about plans to reduce CO2 emissions, methane emissions, flaring and recycled or reuse produced water. Large firms – classified as those producing 10,000 barrels of oil per day or more – planned to address those issues, led by recycling or reusing water and reducing flaring.

“This Is Why We Don’t Drink the Water”

Fracking threatens drinking water on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Meet the locals who are fighting back.

San Augustine Co. (TX) residents voice concerns over proposed oil and gas waste disposal site

Montana-based company PA Prospect Corporation submitted an application to the Railroad Commission of Texas to build a 256.7-acre facility to store, handle, treat and dispose of non-hazardous oil and gas waste in San Augustine County.

Comment: Rumors of oil's death have been greatly exaggerated

Among the myriad industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is one particularly critical to Texas: oil.

Oil and gas provides $1.37 billion to New Mexico schools despite COVID-19 market struggle

Oil and gas contributed about $1.37 billion to public education in New Mexico, per a recent study from industry leaders for Fiscal Year 2020 – even as the state and world economy was ravaged by the COVID-19 heath crisis.

Oil and gas industry ‘math’ has been reset

Energy companies can expect an uncertain path in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic has altered expectations for the near future.


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