GE Water & Process Technologies and STW Resources, Inc. announced they formed a collaborative that will drastically reduce the amount of freshwater lost to the environment due to hydraulic fracturing, a commonly used oil and gas process.
Each year, hydraulic fracturing produces billions of gallons of wastewater while increasing the production rate of oil and gas wells. Texas alone—the largest oil and gas producing state in the United States—discards over six billion barrels annually of oilfield wastewater into the state's 50,000 permitted disposal wells. The wastewater disposed of in the wells is forever lost, placing even more stress on this water scarce region. Using an innovative, cost-effective process and patented GE Thermal Evaporation technologies the collaborative will help oil and gas customers recover up to 70% of their hydraulic fracturing wastewater.
"This effort will leverage STW's vast knowledge and contacts in the oil and gas industry and our broad portfolio of innovative solutions to deliver economic and environmental benefits," said Jeff Garwood, president and CEO, GE Water & Process Technologies. "This is yet another example of how we strategically work with industry leaders to drive growth and bring solutions to our customers around the world. We are pleased to have teamed with STW and we look forward to bringing together the collective strength of GE and STW as we explore solutions that address these water challenges."
The GE-STW collaborativewill initially address the wastewater challenges of Barnett, Fayetteville and Appalachian Shale natural gas drilling plays – locations known for tough-to-treat wastewater. Utilizing GE patented Evaporator and Brine Concentrator technologies, the effort will help the regions reclaim approximately 70% of their hydraulic fracturing wastewater. The reclaimed water can be reused in the next well or safely returned back to the environment. GE and STW will form project-specific companies, under the banner of "Water Reclamation Partners," and will offer multi-year cost-per-barrel based service agreements. Water Reclamation Partners will build, own, and operate the equipment and processes required to treat the wastewater and recover reusable water.
"Our vision is to create solutions that address some of the oil and gas sector's toughest wastewater and recycling challenges," said Stanley Weiner, CEO, STW Resources. "This effort will enable growth while decreasing the amount of water taken out of the natural environment."
Utilizing GE's Brine Concentrator and Evaporator technologies, the collaborative will also help oil and gas producers further shrink their environmental footprints by decreasing the amount of equipment and water hauling trucks needed on site.
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