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News in brief

A roundup of the main developments regarding water in the oil & gas industry for January 4-17.

The Centre for Public Interest Law, a Ghanaian NGO, urged the country’s Environmental Protection Agency to update and adopt more stringent oil & gas regulations. One the recommendations made was to clarify parameters for waste disposal, including limits for oil content in produced water discharge.

Water midstream company Oilfield Water Logistics bought infrastructure including 23 saltwater disposal wells (SWDs) and around 300 miles of pipelines from operator EOG Resources, approximately doubling its network in the northern Delaware Basin. The purchase follows OWL’s acquisition by Canadian infrastructure fund InstarAGF Asset Management in October 2019.

Expedition Water Solutions also purchased water assets from an operator, acquiring two SWDs, together with more than 25,000 bbl/d of disposal capacity, from an unnamed company in the Colorado DJ Basin.

Blackbuck Resources welcomed two new members to its management team. Barry Portman, previously Pioneer Natural Resources’ vice-president of production operations and Permian general manager, will take on the COO role, replacing Jay Keener. Blackbuck’s new CFO is Jamie Liang, formerly a managing partner at Battlecat Energy Partners.

Chile’s Superintendency of Environment (SMA) cited national oil company Enap for six infractions at its Arsenal block in the province of Tierra del Fuego. Several charges related to water mismanagement, such as failure to close produced water pits and record flowback volumes, as well as collection of produced water in unauthorized infrastructure. Additionally, the SMA said Enap had not complied with water quality monitoring requirements and that it had sourced water for hydraulic fracturing from areas not authorized in an environmental assessment. The company was given 10 days to submit a compliance plan and 15 days to dispute the charges.

Six parties in California led by the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) following the agency’s December opening of more than 1 million acres of federal land for oil & gas activities such as hydraulic fracturing. The plaintiffs allege that the BLM failed to consider potential issues including groundwater contamination and induced seismicity, thus violating the National Environmental Policy Act. The lawsuit seeks to halt new leasing until the BLM’s plan is brought into compliance with the act.

New Mexico state senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez introduced SB 104, which would ban hydraulic fracturing on state lands until 2024. The bill will be considered in New Mexico’s 2020 legislative session, which begins January 21st. According to energy intelligence firm Rystad Energy, the state’s shale production had grown 38% year over year as of November 2019.

EVX Midstream Partners said that phase two construction has begun on its Eagle Ford water gathering systems. The project includes a pipeline expansion that will bring the company’s total network to around 500 miles and brings in volumes previously disposed of at competitor SWDs. The company also said it had received a “significant” contractual extension with an unnamed producer in the basin, providing recycling opportunities.

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