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Pioneer Natural Resources partners with Odessa to manage water use

Pioneer Natural Resources has announced the start-up of a 20-mile, $25 million infrastructure project to both save water and cut costs for the mutual benefit of the company and the city of Odessa, Texas. The project is the key component of an 11-year, $117 million agreement between Pioneer Natural Resources and Odessa to provide Pioneer with millions of gallons of treated municipal wastewater for use in its operations. In return, the region will see a reduction in truck traffic and a regular revenue stream.

“This is the right thing to do for the environment, and it really is a win-win for the residents of Odessa and Pioneer,” said Timothy L. Dove, Pioneer’s president and COO. “Pioneer is able to reduce the need for potable water in a drought-prone area while compensating Odessa for effluent water that would otherwise go to waste.”

The idea for the agreement came from Pioneer’s dedicated subsidiary, Pioneer Water Management (PWM). Water is mixed with sand and other components to create a slurry used during hydraulic fracturing. Utilizing effluent water for this purpose reduces the need for freshwater and makes productive use of a non-potable resource.

“Water is critical to Pioneer’s drilling operations, and having a diversity of supply is very important,” said Stephen McNair, president of PWM. “The investment in infrastructure makes sense on many fronts. There’s the freshwater conservation benefit as well as the ability to lessen traffic congestion, given that Pioneer will no longer have to solely rely on trucked deliveries of water to drilling sites.”

PWM constructed 20.3 miles of 24-in. polyethylene pipe with a 2-in. wall thickness from Odessa’s Bob Derrington Water Reclamation Plant in Midland County to one of its water supply facilities. It is designed to flow 150,000 bbl of water per day (BWPD) at 120 psi, though the system will have a maximum flow of 200,000 BWPD at 150 psi at peak capacity.

“We are grateful to Odessa Mayor David Turner, the City Council and City Manager Richard Morton for their dedication to this project,” Mr Dove said. “It serves as a model for our industry and the Permian Basin.”

A ceremony to officially turn the valve on the project occurred at the Derrington plant on 20 January.

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