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News in brief

A roundup of the main developments regarding water in the oil & gas industry for September 28-October 11

A Texas Tech University research team won a $1.55 million grant from the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute to develop modular, mobile treatment systems using thermal-based membrane distillation and mechanical vapor compression technologies. The systems are intended to be easily scalable and recover 50-70% of water produced at hydraulic fracturing sites. The RAPID Manufacturing Institute is a collaboration between the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Advanced Manufacturing Office of the US Department of Energy (DOE).

As part of the DOE-led Water Security Grand Challenge initiative, the Office of Fossil Energy earmarked $4.6 million in funding for four produced water treatment projects. ZwitterCo is to receive $1.25 million to develop fouling-resistant, chlorine-tolerant zwitterionic membrane technology. TDA Research will also receive $1.25 million to advance membrane filtration for the removal of organic compounds. The University of Wyoming has been granted around $1.2 million to create nanostructured membranes and the University of Arizona’s Board of Regents will receive nearly $936,000 to research the delivery of ferric ion coagulants to improve costs in fracking and waterflood operations.

UK exploration & production (E&P) operator Cuadrilla will not continue hydraulically fracturing at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire for the time being. Operations were halted there following seismic activity exceeding the UK Oil & Gas Authority’s threshold in August and the company’s fracturing permits expire in November. Cuadrilla now plans to begin flow tests at another site in northwest England.

Oklahoman water midstream company Bison will provide water gathering, disposal and dispatch services to Tapstone Energy in the Anadarko Basin’s northwest STACK region. Under the agreement, the company will also manage all of Tapstone’s produced water infrastructure in an area of 2.6 million acres.

NGL Water Solutions has pledged $1 million to the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium. The company’s executive vice-president, Doug White, made the announcement at an event in Las Cruces at the beginning of the month. The consortium was formed by the state’s environment department and New Mexico State University to inform produced water treatment and application regulations and policies through targeted research.

Tailwater Capital will invest an additional $500 million in Goodnight Midstream, which noted in a press release that it had recently secured five new long-term contracts in the Bakken play and Delaware Basin. The capital commitment follows news that TPG Capital will not be buying a majority stake in Goodnight.

Bloomberg reported that E&P company Continental Resources is considering selling a stake in its water business. The producer sold a recycling plant, several saltwater disposal wells and pipelines in the STACK play to Lagoon Water Solutions for $85 million in July. In an August earnings call, CEO Harold Hamm said that the company estimates its remaining water infrastructure to be worth around $1 billion.

African oil-producing nations are getting their first ever produced water-focused conference. Produced Water Africa has a pre-event workshop and two full days of presentations and panel discussions, with heavy representation from national and international producers operating in Central Africa.

The International Produced Water Management Conference and Exhibition will take place in Lagos, Nigeria on November 5-7.

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