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News in brief

A roundup of the main developments regarding water in the oil & gas industry for March 13-27.

Australia

Water technology provider Gradiant entered the Australian market with its acquisition of water engineering company CRS Water. The deal provides an opportunity for Gradiant to expand its Carrier Gas Extraction and Counter Flow Reverse Osmosis technologies in several regional sectors including energy. The acquisition follows the January signing of a memorandum of understanding between Gradiant and Middle East-focused oilfield services provider National Energy Services Reunited. 

North America

Following a steep oil price downturn in early March, Permian Basin shale producer Pioneer Natural Resources revised its planned 2020 capital expenditure, including for water infrastructure projects. The company’s water spending is now expected to be around $100 million for the year.

Rattler Midstream also adjusted its 2020 capital expenditure by more than 40% in response to the oil price crash. The company, who’s core business includes produced water gathering and disposal, as well as water sourcing for operator Diamondback Energy, is now planning for operated midstream capital expenditure of $100 million-150 million.

The Texas Railroad Commission is said to be considering limits on oil production as the state’s shale producers struggle under the weight of low oil prices. Curbing output may help raise and stabilize oil prices, reducing the impact on the shale industry.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed that Citation Oil & Gas pay $115,000 for two spills in Wyoming. The second spill, which occurred in August 2019, included the release of around 1,000 bbl of produced water into a tributary of the Big Horn River.

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s College of Engineering has filed a patent application for a technology that uses solar energy to treat produced water through evaporation. The technology has been lab-tested and is now ready to move into the pilot stage.

South America

Several producers active in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta play are calling for the government to reintroduce an oil price floor to enable new shale investments to continue. The country had implemented this tool in 2007-2015 to ensure producers would be paid at least $50/bbl. The CEO of national oil company YPF said during a press conference that “it is difficult to make investments in new blocks with international oil prices below $50.”

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