June 24, 2011
PHOTO COURTESY OF AQUA-PURE
FEATURE | Sewer and Watermain/Water & Wastewater
Aqua-Pure Ventures of Calgary honoured for work in fracturing shale deposits for natural gas
A Calgary-based oilfield engineering and services firm, Aqua-Pure Ventures, Inc. has been chosen by The Artemis Project as a 2011 Top 50 Water Companies Competition winner, the second consecutive year the company has been selected for the honour.
“Water tech is quickly becoming an engine for economic development and job growth,” says Laura Shenkar, principal at The Artemis Project.
“With these awards, we strive to identify the companies offering the most promising technologies coming onto the market “
Aqua-Pure was honoured for its work in recycling water used to hydraulically fracture shale deposits to release natural gas in North Texas’ Barnett Shale. Known commonly as “fracking,” the process was developed in the mid-90s and requires tens of thousands of gallons of water per application. Much of that water is returned to the surface as “flowback” containing fracturing chemicals and salts. About 20 per cent of the water returns to the surface immediately under pressure, with about 40 per cent returning over the life of the operation.
Traditionally, the water is injected into disposal wells and permanently removed from the hydrological cycle.
“In Texas, they use approximately 120,000 barrels of water to frack a well,” says Richard Magnus, chairman of Aqua-Pure. “You can dispose of the water in a disposal well for about 75 cents a barrel. That isn’t too expensive, but when you realize that a really big water truck holds about 130 barrels, you can see that the cost of transporting it to the well is significant.”
Aqua-Pure supplies mobile units, known as the Nomad 2000, to quickly distill the water using mechanical vapour recompression (MVR), separating contaminants from the effluent.
About 85 per cent of the wastewater is returned as distilled water and the other 15 per cent is either re-used in other processes or disposed of in injection wells. The newly purified water can be re-used for further fracking operations instead of sourcing new water.
Since 2004, the company has recycled more than 700 million gallons of shale gas wastewater in the Barnett Shale, through its Texas subsidiary Fountain Quail Water Management LLC.
The technology is also being employed in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale where the Marcellus Shale Coalition has just announced that it would end the practice of discharging wastewater from shale gas drilling operations into area waterways.
“The key to what we offer is mobility and minimal down time due to maintenance,” says Magnus. “The nature of the business is that governments will auction off oil leases, but the exploration companies have only a limited amount of time to go in and drill —anywhere from one to five years. If they don’t begin quickly, they could lose the lease, so in many cases these companies are moving quickly from one location to another and we follow where the activity is.”
North America is rich with shale deposits, including the Horn River deposit in British Columbia and other deposits in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Aqua-Pure is currently considering plans to expand into additional shale beds across the continent, where activity is ramping up.
“Shale gas is a game-changer,” says Magnus.
“T. Boone Pickens calls it the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world and he isn’t wrong a lot of the time. The U.S. imports a significant amount of its energy needs and this could shift much of it back to domestic production. Right now, no one can match our level of shale gas wastewater recycling — we’re the guys doing it.”
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
- OPG $1 billion proposal to bury nuclear waste up for comment
- Proposed Ambassador Bridge twinning draws Windsor mayor’s ire
- Construction on pedestrian tunnel to Billy Bishop Airport continues to make progress
- Ontario prompt payment bill to get second reading today
- New ETFO headquarters a benchmark design
- 20 Most Popular Stories
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 443 projects with a total value of $1,866,277,015 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Tuesday.
$353,800,000 North York ON Prebid
$90,000,000 Niagara Falls ON Prebid
$68,000,000 Oakville ON Prebid
- VIDEO: Economic Update May 21, 2013
- VIDEO: Competing in the trades
- New ETFO headquarters a benchmark design
- Viana steps up to rebuild burnt down playground
- Random drug testing about site safety, says expert
- Trying to define the “lowest price”
- High job vacancy rates for small business
- Minto to assist in zero energy housing project
- Construction Site Arson
- Historic church renovation reaches new heights
- Hiring of foreign workers for hospital project outrages union
- Festival of Architecture hits Halifax
- Winnipeg Southwest Transitway wins award
- Vendor performance is key measurement
- NDP leader spoke to police about corruption
- Big contract down under for ATCO Structures
- RFQ issued for Kamloops hospital project
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)