Oil & Gas

Oil and Gas | Produced Water | Regulation

The oil and natural gas industry contributes tremendously to the U.S. economy as one of the nations’ largest employers and purchasers of goods. The industry also produces many products essential to everyday living and provides an economical fuel source for the nation’s transportation, agriculture and manufacturing needs.

The Sionix mobile, modular water treatment systems co-locate with the contamination source – at the wellhead!  Costly and risky transportation of these highly toxic wastes no longer need to cross the busy highways and byways of rural America threatening told and untold catastrophes.  What’s more, with our new evaporator technology, the highly concentrated brine from treatment processes that has been injected in deep wells across the country will also be eliminated, and sale of recovered salts can become recurring revenue.

U.S. and global energy demand is rising significantly as worldwide population grows and quality of life improves for people around the globe. In fact, the International Energy Outlook 2010 projects a 50 percent increase in world energy consumption between 2007 and 2035.

Policies that encourage domestic oil and natural gas production are necessary to meet this increasing demand and drive economic growth here in the United States and abroad. These abundant resources create American jobs, generate much-needed government revenue and provide reliable energy supplies to American families and businesses.

9.16 million
Number of people directly and indirectly employed by the U.S. oil and natural gas industry 

$1 trillion
Amount contributed to the national economy by the oil and natural gas industry

$178 billion
Amount paid to the U.S. government  in rent, royalties and bonus payments from 1892 to 2009 

$95.6 billion
Amount paid in 2008 U.S. income taxes alone 

$194 billion
Amount invested to improve the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations since 1990

$58.4 billion 
Amount invested in low- and zero-carbon emission technologies from 2000 to 2008—more than either the federal government or all U.S.-based private industries combined

 

Produced Water

Produced water handling and treatment represents billions in cost to U.S. Oil & Gas 

The Sionix mobile, modular water treatment systems co-locate with the contamination source – at the wellhead!  Costly and risky transportation of these highly toxic wastes no longer need to cross the busy highways and byways of rural America threatening told and untold catastrophes.  What’s more, with our new evaporator technology, the highly concentrated brine from treatment processes that has been injected in deep wells across the country will also be eliminated, and sale of recovered salts can become recurring revenue.

In the United States produced water is defined by the EPA. One version of their definition is: "Produced Water" means the water (brine) brought up from the hydrocarbon bearing formation strata during the extraction of oil and gas, and can include formation water, injection water, and any chemicals added downhole or during the oil/water separation process."

363,459 Oil-producing wells in the US* Each barrel of crude oil creates approximately 10 barrels of produced water

461,388 Gas-producing wells in the US* In natural gas extraction, hydraulic fracturing (frac'ing) injects over 80,000 lbs of chemicals into the earth’s crust for each well that is drilled

The treatment of produced water is a major component of the cost of producing oil and gas. Wells may start out producing little water but sooner or later all oil wells produce a much larger volume of water than oil. The ability to efficiently and economically dispose of this water is critical to the success in the oil production business.

Annually, the U.S. produces 20 Billion barrels (882 Billion gallons) of produced water, onshore and 700 million (29.4 Billion gallons) off-shore.

Where Does Produced Water Go?

The Sionix mobile, modular water treatment systems co-locate with the contamination source – at the wellhead!  Costly and risky transportation of these highly toxic wastes no longer need to cross the busy highways and byways of rural America threatening told and untold catastrophes.  What’s more, with our new evaporator technology, the highly concentrated brine from treatment processes that has been injected in deep wells across the country will also be eliminated, and sale of recovered salts can become recurring revenue.

A mixture of performance standards for the disposal processes and regulations limiting discharges mandates the standards for treatment of produced water. Produced water must be either reused or disposed of.  It can be used as a source of water for waterfloods or pressure maintenance or pressure maintenance projects. If reuse is not an option produced water is disposed of by discharge to the sea or injection under ground. Standards of treatment for reuse are set by industry technical organizations such as the American petroleum Institute (API) and its member companies, the Oil Producers Association (OPA) (formerly the E&P Forum) and other industry groups. Standards for produced water disposal are determined by State, National and international regulatory bodies.

Regulation In Place

Clean Water Act
Disposal of flowback into surface waters of the United States is regulated by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. The Clean Water Act authorizes the NPDES program.

State regulations
In addition to federal authority to regulate the hydraulic fracturing process, states may have additional regulations on hydraulic fracturing and the production of fossil fuels.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. In most cases, the NPDES permit program is administered by authorized states.