By Katie Mazerov, contributing editor
Baker Hughes has introduced two new mobile services to provide convenient water treatment and drilling waste recycling in unconventional shale formations. The H2prO water treatment service removes suspended solids and heavy metals without chemicals, treating 100% of flowback and produced water for reuse. The system uses a proprietary electro-coagulation technology to eliminate contaminants and reduce costs and nonproductive time (NPT) by limiting transportation time and disposal expenses.
The system complies with regulatory requirements and provides fit-for-purpose solutions for each basin, reservoir or field to conserve, recycle and reuse water.
“This service addresses water supply limitations and enhances the pace of our customers’ pressure-pumping operations,” said Tom Whalen, Baker Hughes vice president of water management. “We improve the overall efficiency of operations and reduce total water cost because this is part of a fully integrated process, from pressure pumping to water treatment and disposal.”
The process begins with in-depth water analyses of the unique characteristics of each well or other water source. Pre-treatment testing is done to reduce the risk of formation damage. The appropriate water treatment equipment is then mobilized to the site to allow operators to reuse the water for drilling or hydraulic fracturing.
“Operators are no longer constrained by permanent equipment that may not be ideal for their needs,” Mr Whalen noted.
Portable waste facility
The second service being launched is the Eco-Centre CR, a mobile and portable onshore waste facility that can process a wide range of drilling fluids and solids. The unit, which can be deployed in close proximity to shale formations, reduces the amount of water pulled into the waste stream and reduces the amount of fluids and drilling waste trucked to distant locations, thus lowering transportation costs. All recycled water can be reused in other operations.
The modular processing center has been deployed in the Marcellus shale and uses the latest technology to deliver a 100% reusable, recycled fluid. The system destabilizes the fluid, then separates out the solids using a centrifuge designed to deliver maximum return of the solids-free liquid to the fluid system.
“Operators are facing water shortages and increased restrictions on raw water use and disposal in many areas of the world,” said Scott Schmidt, president of Drilling and Evaluation. “Our portable Eco-Centre CR can be located where operators need it, reducing costs and efficiently recycling drilling waste for future use. The mobile facility allows operators to process a greater variety of drilling waste streams with a higher throughput while reducing the impact on the environment.”
In 2010, Baker Hughes opened an offshore Eco-Centre waste management facility for North Sea operators in Peterhead, Scotland, north of Aberdeen. The facility can process more than 33,000 tons of drill cuttings and nearly 4 million gallons of liquid waste annually. The facility includes the FES Global Research and Development Center, a Baker Hughes R&D hub that develops new drilling waste treatment technologies.