Issue #42 | Cover Of The Rolling Stone

Oilfield Water Weekly

Wednesday January 22, 2020

Produced water just made the cover of the Rolling Stone – not the paper magazine but the associated website.

Rolling Stone’s homepage carried an extensive feature (8,500+ words) on produced water as their top story yesterday.

Not surprisingly, the coverage isn’t flattering. NORM is portrayed as a universal trait in brine (it is not), and the piece is written in a way that will create public angst (Josh Fox redux?).

For better or worse, this hit piece (and the new book it stems from) will put oilfield wastewater in the bright lights of the mainstream media because Rolling Stone has gravitas with a reader base outside our industry. Meanwhile, as you’ll see in the news digest below, there has been an uptick this week in O&G opposition articles and public angst focused on wastewater.

Produced water is fast becoming a hot public topic. Is it about to replace “fracking” as a key talking point for those opposed to the development of O&G? 

As good readers of this newsletter know, the US O&G industry doesn’t need a wake-up call on this issue. Sustainable and safe water management is THE top priority for most US onshore E&P operators today. Billions of dollars are being invested in infrastructure to handle the industry’s biggest byproduct. But the positives don’t get enough airtime.

That’s why the conversation about the steps industry is taking to safely, responsibly, and sustainably handle water is so important. Recycling. Water midstream’s emergence. Sophistication. Putting water on pipe. Relentless focus on safety and community. Sustainability focus of leading operators. Vendor vetting. Beneficial reuse evaluation. “Zero spill” goals and rapid response when incidents do happen. Oilfield water as an ESG investment…. we could go on, and on, and on, but we do have a news digest to get to today.

Our point is that many positive produced water stories need to be told. Water management is an aspect O&G development that predates unconventionals. It’s not new, but it is increasingly linked to the E&P industry’s societal license to operate. We have to get this one right. 

The O&G industry employs more die-hard environmentalists than any other industry on the planet. They just happen to be pragmatic as well as environmentally conscious.

Sustainability, environment, and ESG have big implications for the risk/reward profiles of E&P operators and water midstream firms. During our big 3-day event coming up in May 2020, dozens of experts will discuss new business models, financing, commercialization, trends, and solutions that advance the sustainability narrative in this space. Have you made your plans to be a part of the discussion?

Baker Hughes has. Today, we’d like to recognize the Baker Hughes HPump™️ team for signing up as the event’s first golf sponsor. We press released this exciting news late-last week, as Baker Hughes will showcase new solutions that are making a positive impact on sustainability and ESG scores for the O&G industry.

We hope you’ll join them and the many other industry leaders and investors that will be there.

As this email hits your inbox, our team is hard at work on the conference agenda. It will deliver unique and extremely valuable market intelligence at this critical juncture in the business of full-cycle water management. A first look will be unveiled soon, and some other really big announcements are being finalized too, so please stay tuned… this will be one oilfield water event this year that you can’t afford to miss! Check it out and register here.

And now, here is your oilfield water business news digest for the past seven days…


News Digest

Rolling Stone Hit Piece On Produced Water: "America’s Radioactive Secret"

At most wells, far more brine is produced than oil or gas, as much as 10 times more. It collects in tanks, and like an oil-and-gas garbage man, Peter picks it up and hauls it off to treatment plants or injection wells, where it’s disposed of by being shot back into the earth...

WPX Produced Water Leak Reported In Carlsbad

Kelly Swan, public information officer for WPX said the leak resulted from an “incident” at a WPX job location, but he was unsure how much fluid leaked and the exact cause of the incident. One homeowner has complained about the leak, and the company deployed a remediation team within hours...

After That, We Need A Palate Cleanser, So Up Next: "The Positive Impacts of Water Recycling"

Former Lagoon COO Pete Hollis says: "Implementing recycling on a large scale will not only resolve these issues related to seismicity, but it will also provide the added benefit of reducing the industry's freshwater usage..."

Have You Hugged A Fracker Today? Our Oil Expansion Keeps Us Safe From Iranian Meddling

For decades, US foreign policy and defense strategy revolved around keeping the flow of oil from the Middle East going. Now it’s an afterthought....

PESA Primer: Why ESG Matters

ESG could boost your returns by a significant amount: a strategy of buying stocks that rank well on ESG metrics have outperformed the market by up to three percentage points per year over the last five years....

PRB Water News: Regulators Revise Moneta Divide Produced Water Permit

After months of public outcry, state regulators revised a permit for a major oil and gas firm operating at Moneta Divide in central Wyoming. Subject to public comment, the permit will maintain existing limits on discharged water at the facility and impose routine water sampling requirements to prevent pollutants from flowing into the nearby Boysen Reservoir Basin..

Fort Stockton City Council Praises Water Official; Terminates Waterbridge Deal

The city and Waterbridge Resources LLC mutually agreed to terminate the water purchase agreement put in place July 18, 2017...

Baker Hughes Recognized As The First Golf Sponsor For The Oilfield Water Markets 2020 Conference

“The Baker Hughes HPump™️ surface pumping system is a critical equipment component in modern oilfield water infrastructure,” said Peter Cook, Managing Partner of Oilfield Water Connection and an organizer of the event. Several more golf sponsorships as well as other ways to get involved with the conference remain available to industry participants...

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: Oilfield Water Logistics Appoints Price Moncrief as Chief Financial Officer

"We are delighted to welcome Price to our team with his unique wealth of leadership experience in creating, financing and executing growth opportunities in the Permian Basin," said Chris Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of OWL...

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: Hiring Spree Continues In Water Midstream

Full time Operations and Engineering Technicians with true produced water background, SWD experience are in demand...

Trican Closes Sale Of Water Management Business

Trican Well Service Ltd. closed the sale of Fraction Energy Services Ltd. to Green Energy Services Inc. for consideration of $17.6 million, of which $4 million has been paid by way of a secured vendor take-back loan...

EVX Midstream Partners Begins Eagle Ford Water Gathering Expansion; Extends Contract With Operator

EVX Midstream Partners, LLC announced it has initiated Phase II construction on its water gathering systems in the Eagle Ford Basin. Additionally, EVX announced it has completed a significant contractual extension with one of the Eagle Ford Basins dominant producers...

New Mexico House Speaker Hears Hobbs, Lea County's Issues

“But I do know that the dynamics of water transport, putting water into storage for fracture storage stimulation projects, those dynamics have changed significantly,” Scott continued. “If you were in the frac tank business, with hundreds of tanks in the field, you’re now looking for a place to store those...."

A New Frac Sand Concept Has Big Implications For Fresh Water In The Oilfield - Are Sand Mines About To Go Mobile?

A new concept is getting some buzz in the frac sand industry - mobile-mini plants. If this takes off, it would mean more fresh water would be needed close to oil wells to wash the sand...

TROUBLE IN SHALE: Halliburton Has Sold 1/5th Of Their Frac Fleet “By The Pound” For Scrap Value

Halliburton said they exited 2019 with 22% less available frac horsepower. Halliburton is actually cutting up this steel and...

TROUBLE IN SHALE: Schlumberger’s US Onshore Strategic Review Continues After A Mondo Rightsizing Round That Stopped Just Shy Of HHP Retirements

Schlumberger has “already reduced workforce by more than 1,400 employees since 3Q19″ and ceased onshore coiled tubing operations in North America...

Texas Ranch Larger Than The City Of San Antonio For Sale For $320 Million

A West Texas ranch near Big Bend National Park, larger than the city of San Antonio, is on the market with a massive price tag. Brewster Ranches spans...

T. Boone Pickens' 65,000-Acre Texas Ranch Gets A Price Cut - It's Yours For Just $220 Million

Pickens started acquiring the property in 1971 with a 2,926-acre purchase along the south side of the Canadian River in Roberts County...

Innovations Across The Permian Article Highlights Water Sector

To help reduce costs associated with produced water, RWI Enhanced Evaporation unveiled a new technology that cuts the cost of produced water...

Permian's Next Chapter

Apart from investor sentiment, Permian producers continue to navigate an infrastructure- and midstream-world that can teeter between enough and undersupplied. For a play that produces roughly three barrels of water for every barrel of oil, the Permian’s water handling and takeaway providers have been up to the task of meeting industry needs....

Dealing With The Produced Water Crisis [Short Op-Ed]

In the Permian we are out of room down below, causing seismic active to increase, well laterals to collapse. By some estimates we only have 2 years before we are full and can take no more water at the current injection rates...

Oil Conservation District Can Enforce Oil Regulations For First Time In A Decade

The rule change stemmed from the Fluid Oil and Gas Waste Act — also known as the Produced Water Act — which passed during the 2019 legislative session. A provision of that bill enshrined into law the OCD’s ability to assess monetary penalties between $2,500 to $10,000 to oil and gas producers in violation of state law of, depending on the nature and severity of the violation....

Trump Hails WOTUS Overhaul As Critics Call For Investigation

President Trump over the weekend touted his repeal of key Clean Water Act regulations as more than three dozen current and former government officials called for an investigation into the scientific basis of his forthcoming replacement rule...

California Sues To Block Trump Administration Fracing Plans

California increased its efforts Friday to keep the federal government from allowing oil and gas drilling on more than 1 million acres of public land, suing to block the Trump administration from issuing new permits in the central part of the state.

US Renowned GOP Enviro Figure Had Outsize Impact On Wyoming

In 1970, when the Environmental Protection Agency was created, Ruckelshaus served as its first administrator. Just days into his tenure, he ordered the mayors of Atlanta, Cleveland and Detroit to develop plans to correct water-quality violations.

Chemical Company Offers Solution To Frac Hits

As operators seek ways to mitigate the “frac hits” between parent and child wells, TenEx Technologies has devised a chemical solution that pressurizes the reservoir, keeping hydraulic fracturing sands and solutions from the newer wells away from the older wells...

LEGAL NEWS: SWD Legal Perspective Addressed On A New Texas O&G Podscast Episode This Week [Start Listening At 29-Minute Mark For Water Talk]

Jesse Nation, an associate attorney at Branscomb Law talks about reforms to Texas groundwater law and hydrocarbon recovery [Start Listening At 29-Minute Mark For Water Talk]

LEGAL NEWS: Texas Justices Won't Review Frac Co.'s Atty Malpractice Suit

The Texas Supreme Court won't review a frac equipment leasing company's bid...

LEGAL NEWS: Despite Sabine, Texas Bankruptcy Court Finds That Certain Midstream Gathering Agreements Cannot Be Rejected

On December 20, 2019, Judge Marvin Isgur in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston Division) entered a memorandum…

PUBLIC WATER ANGST: Big Oil Wants To Dump More Wastewater Into Rivers. What Could Go Wrong?

For more than six months, twin brothers Ronald and Donald Schweitzer have watched large amounts of salty wastewater bubble up from the ground in their wheat field. The “saltwater purge” has killed three trees and several acres of crops on their northwest Oklahoma farm...

PUBLIC WATER ANGST: Egolf Challenger Johnston Begins 7 Day Fast On Capitol Steps In New Mexico

The woman who is challenging the state’s Speaker of the House for his seat in this year’s elections began the first of seven days of fasting and public engagement on the steps of the Roundhouse in Santa Fe Monday. She has spoken at 24 universities across the country, delivered over a dozen keynote speeches at events such as Bioneers and the Parliament of World Religions, participated in water protector demonstrations at Standing Rock and at Bayou Bridge, a sister protest in Louisiana against the same pipeline...

PUBLIC WATER ANGST: "We Should Be Very Concerned About Wastewater From Oil Operations"

In a recent conversation with an industry expert we discussed some key aspects of drilling operations having to do with the production of brine or produced water and the process for its proper disposal...

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