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News in brief

A roundup of the main developments regarding water in the oil & gas industry for March 28-April 10

North America

Kurita Water Industries merged its four US subsidiaries into one company called Kurita America. The company provides water treatment solutions for various industries, including oil & gas. Among the company’s offerings are treatment chemistries aimed at improving saltwater disposal well injectivity and avoiding pipeline corrosion.
Analysts at IHS Markit pulled back their market value projections for US onshore water management by 20%, saying the sector will be worth $28 billion by 2022. The firm also projects US onshore produced water volumes to decline by nearly 20 billion bbl by 2022 compared to 2019 volumes. The estimated reductions are based on low oil prices, which have been driven down by simultaneous supply and demand shocks in recent weeks.
New Mexico-based Hungry Horse Environmental Service licensed Encore Green Environmental’s Conservation-by-Design system to treat produced water for agricultural applications. The patent-pending system will be used for the first time in Wyoming, where Encore holds a permit to treat and apply 7,000 bbl of produced water to farmland in 2020. The system cannot yet be deployed in New Mexico, where regulators have teamed up with academia to pave the way for rulemaking around beneficial reuse.
Athabasca Oil Corporation became the first producer to suspend oil sands operations in response to the current oil price downturn, taking about 2,500 boe/d offline. In April, the company shutdown the Hangingstone steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project, which has a Western Canada Select breakeven of $37.50/bbl. Athabasca said it was prepared to further reduce its production depending on the price environment. The company has so far announced $40 billion in cuts to its 2020 capex budget, representing a 30% reduction.
A New Mexico district judged ruled that the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) must cancel authorizations granted to Intrepid Potash to pump water from the Pecos River. Not only had the company been holding rights to unwithdrawn water – which is legally prohibited in the state – but it had also sold some of the water to other industries, including oil & gas, instead of using it for the purposes initially authorized. The OSE has the option to appeal the verdict.
Chevron has added Canadian startup Mangrove Water Technologies to its Catalyst Program, which helps develop early-stage technologies. Mangrove focuses on generating chemicals including sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid from produced water, as well as desalinating the water for reuse applications. The company had previously won Chevron’s Tech Challenge in early 2019.
Water logistics company Nuverra Environmental Solutions announced initiatives aimed at saving the company $11 million in 2020. The program includes “scaling back two completions-related businesses”, shrinking operational expenditures, laying off 100 staff and reducing salaries across the company. Nuverra plans to further cut its capex budget by 25-30%.


Europe

Norwegian technology provider Stauper Offshore received a patent for an improved compact flotation unit (CFU) design, which includes a secondary point of oil removal and allows for an even further reduced footprint. The new design builds on another patented CFU model which the company announced in December 2019 had been qualified for first use by Equinor.
Norway’s M Vest Water (MVW) will provide Swedish technology company Alfa Laval with two chemical dosing skids for slop water treatment on North Sea rigs. The skids will deliver MVW’s Norwafloc water clarifiers, which aid in oil/water separation.



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