It's well known, the oil & gas industries generate over 100 billion barrels of produced water each year. Treatment and disposal of oil & gas produced water costs over $50 billion annually, and accounts for 98% of the entire waste stream of the industry—from well to refinery. The cost per barrel varies widely, based on location and availability of treatment and disposal options.
Traditional methods of dealing with produced water include disposal via deep well injection, evaporation using open pits and ponds, and mechanical evaporation systems. These methods often present environmental challenges and/or cost too much to be viable. What’s required is an integrated system for treating produced water so the water can be recycled or reused for beneficial use...for less cost than traditional methods.
IX Power Clean Water has created just such a system! IX Water is a complete treatment train based on industry best practices and innovative technology from a unique collaboration between IX Power, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of Texas at Austin, and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Don't need a complete water treatment plan? Just certain components? Learn more about IX Power Clean Water's solutions ...
Domenici, who during his 36 years in the United States Senate appropriated funding for water purification and re-use, said that he believes that recent studies and commercial trials “validate both the process IX Power Clean Water has invented, but also its substantial advantages over present cleanup methods.
“The oil and gas industry alone spends more than $50 billion annually to have its wastewater trucked offsite and disposed of, either in reinjection wells or evaporation ponds. In this era of water scarcity, the approach by IX Power Clean Water holds great promise for water reuse for agriculture and industrial uses at dramatic cost savings.”
Domenici presently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he co-chairs its Debt Reduction Task Force, Health Care Cost Containment Initiative, and the Task Force on Defense Budget and Strategy.
Domenici is joining IX Power Clean Water because of his concern for New Mexico’s ongoing water issues. “There is an opportunity here,” said Domenici, “to provide not just New Mexico, but all of the American West, and countries with water shortages, with additional water. The oil & gas industry in particular, plus mining and manufacturing processes, create an incredible amount of wastewater that is too contaminated to use without treatment. In this era of expanding water shortages, instead of injecting this water into the ground or letting it sit in evaporation ponds, we should be cleaning it for reuse. IX Power Clean Water, with its unique patented process created here in New Mexico, allows us to do that and put that valuable water to work.”
IX Power’s OrganiClear™ water treatment technology originated from a Department of Energy (DOE) project started 10 years ago. The project was led by Dr. Jeri Sullivan-Graham at Los Alamos National Laboratory in collaboration with New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and the University of Texas at Austin. The directive from the DOE was to create an effective method for removing contaminants including BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes) from produced water generated by the oil & gas industry.
The project was a success and the patent transferred to IX Power, who is charged with commercializing the technology and making it available to global industries with contaminated water.
More than 4.2 trillion gallons of produced water are generated by the oil & gas industry during routine drilling and production operations every year. This water is contaminated with a complex mixture of salts, volatile and semi-volatile organics, metals, organic acids, and particulates, as well as additives from the drilling process.
Of the many contaminants in produced water, the volatile organic compounds known collectively as BTEX are the most dangerous. BTEX compounds are highly carcinogenic, cause birth defects, extensive harm to the central nervous system, and even immediate death with enough exposure. Although IX Power Clean Water’s OrganiClear three-part system effectively destroys many contaminants, it is most renowned for its ability to destroy BTEX, and it does so without leaving a toxic waste stream, for less cost than traditional oil & gas industry “haul away and re-inject” techniques — techniques which are now widely accused of causing earthquakes in Oklahoma and Texas.
While OrganiClear is garnering recognition as a cost saving game-changer for the oil & gas industry, it also has applications beyond resource extraction. OrganiClear’s unique system is also able to eliminate poisons from community water sources such as E.coli, Giardia, and bacteriophages. OrganiClear is highly effective at eliminating oil and grease, and diesel and gasoline range organics, that can infiltrate community water sources as well as oil & gas-related operations.
IX Power Clean Water’s market is global. “We probably receive as many requests from outside of the country as we do from the oil & gas industry here in the states,” said Deal. “But this is not surprising. While treating produced water for reuse in the U.S. has an economic upside for the oil & gas industry, it’s a survival issue in many places around the planet that are dealing with severe drought issues. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, more people die from water-borne disease and contaminants than any other cause.”
Founded in 2012, IX Power Clean Water is one of several companies under IX Power, LLC — all focused on commercializing innovative technologies from universities and the Department of Energy’s U.S. National Laboratory complex. IX Power was founded by a team with decades of experience in bringing new products to market. It is comprised of John R. (Grizz) Deal, Dr. L. Robert Libutti, Randy Wilson, Dr. Otis “Pete” Peterson, and Deborah Deal-Blackwell.
Much has been said and construed about the external review draft of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on
Drinking Water Resources released in June of this year. The bottom line from the report is this: based on the review of data that was available to them, the EPA could not find that ‘fracking has a
“widespread, systemic impact on drinking water resources in the United States.”
The report did say that ‘fracking needs to be monitored. Regardless of the care taken by oil field services companies, the EPA concludes, “there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water sources.”
At IX Power Clean Water we know that ‘fracking and oil & gas production are essential to the existing American way of life.
The oil and gas in 95% of all wells in the U.S. is being accessed using a ‘fracking technique. To ban the use of this technique, which has been in use for 60+ years, would put a hardship not just on the economy but also on everyone’s lifestyle. Yet, there is room for improvement in oil & gas extraction.
According to the EPA report, the U.S. uses an average of 44 billion gallons of water a year for ‘fracking. In addition to the water used to frack wells, additional contaminated water is generated. This produced water comes up mingled with oil and gas after ‘frack fluid flows back to the surface.
Whether it is ‘frack flowback or produced water, there is a lot of valuable wastewater generated by ‘fracking that can be cleaned and reused. Treated wastewater can be used to help solve water shortages by providing water for agricultural, industrial, mining, and additional oil & gas extraction operations.
Wastewater from ‘fracking can contain unacceptable levels of salt, metals, organic hydrocarbons, and NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material). Specific contaminants include chromium, lead, mercury, barium and more. Organic hydrocarbons in the water can include any and all of the BTEX category: benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes. These contaminants have been proven to have serious impacts on human, animal, and even plant health. All of these can be generated not just by oil & gas operations, but by manufacturing, mining, and construction operations as well.
The Good News
Typically, wastewater from oil & gas extraction, mining, and other industries is reinjected into the ground or dumped into evaporation ponds. But, this water can now be safely and efficiently treated in a cost-effective manner by IX Power Clean Water’s OrganiClear™ and then reused.
A unique technology created by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, OrganiClear removes the most problematic of the contaminants found in produced wastewater. Other existing methods for removing dangerous materials such as BTEX from water create an enormous amount of leftover filter medium that is hazardous waste. The contaminants are just transferred from one medium to another — from water to walnut shells, the problem isn’t really solved. But OrganiClear, with its patented rechargeable adsorption medium and bioreactor, actually destroys BTEX so no residual waste stream remains.
In the summer, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and The Water Council honored IX Power Clean Water with a BREW Accelerator Award at the 8th Annual Water Summit in Milwaukee.
The award was presented for IX Power’s contribution to solving global freshwater challenges with its innovative new technology, OrganiClear.™
X Power Clean Water recently announced that it has taken its deep experience in water chemistry, analysis, and treatment, together with its relevant disaster and military training, to create the most advanced mobile water analysis lab available.
Robust and sophisticated, the MWL Mark I is designed for a wide variety of water analysis, from community water systems to post-disaster evaluation of wells and surface water. The MWL is a completely self-contained, rugged, self-sufficient portable lab.
The lab supports complete chemical analysis of:
• Surface Water, Groundwater/Precipitation
• Drinking Water, Bottled Water
• Agricultural Water
• Urban Water Supplies, Recycled Water
• General Water Quality
• Testing in Industrial Processes
• Industrial and Wastewater Discharge
The company, which already has 12 international orders, notes that its new traveling lab can be fitted with additional equipment for testing oil and gas produced waters and ‘frack flowback, naturally occurring and incident-resulting radioactive materials in water, and runoff from wildfire, flood, and earthquakes.
For more information, call the company's Colorado office at: 303-277-9520.
Industry Events Coming Up:
New Mexico - Sat. - Tues., October 3 - 6: 87th Annual Conference of the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association.
Special speakers: Jeff Skiles, Co-Pilot of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, "The Miracle on the Hudson" and Journalist turned energy analyst, Mark Mathis. Mark digs below the surface of the negative messages about fossil fuels to examine what’s really going on in his new documentary film “FRACTURED”. Mark reveals the subversive way anti-energy activists groups achieve their goals, and how the people who work in the energy sector are unwittingly helping them to spread negative messages about their own industries. For info.: www.nmoga.org/2015-nmoga-annual-meeting.
Pennsylvania - Tues. - Wed., October 27 - 28: Eastern Oil & Gas Conference & Trade Show.
Takes place at the Monroeville Convention Center, just east of Pittsburgh. Longest-running event of its kind in the region, produced by the industry for the industry. Includes: exhibits, special products & services showcase, "producers row," talks, presentations, networking. Info at: http://www.pioga.org/event/2015-eastern-oil-and-gas-conference-and-trade-show/
Colorado - Thursday, November 5: COGA's Annual Small Operator Half-Day Conference.
12 pm to 4 pm. Tailored specifically for small operators this half day session will provide insight in to the current state of the oil and gas industry in Colorado including community and local government engagement, the latest updates from the COGCC, and what to look for in the 2016 legislative session. Lunch included - See more at: http://www.coga.org/index.php/UpcomingEvents
Wyoming - Wednesday, December 9: Petroleum Association of Wyoming Reclamation Conference.
At Parkway Plaza in Casper. More info to come at: http://www.pawyo.org.
Utah - Wed. & Thurs., January 13 & 14, 2016: Utah Petroleum Association Annual Meeting.
To be held at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. Mark the dates and plan to join Utah’s oil and gas industry for two days of interesting, educational and fun meetings and activities. More information and registration materials will be available and distributed approximately December 1. Info coming at: http://www.utahpetroleum.org/