Limited disposal options and/or water scarcity have led the oil and gas industry in some shale plays to establish goals for minimizing the use of freshwater for drilling and completion activities by maximizing the recycle of wastewaters generated from exploration and production (E&P) activities. Many operators have established a goal of 100 percent recycle for their development activities. Eureka Resources, LLC (Eureka) has developed a business model which gives oil and gas operators a sustainable choice for recycling oil and gas wastewaters when water is scarce or disposal options are limited. The business model is based on operation of centralized facilities that targets recovery of useable by-products. There are many challenges associated with operating a centralized oil and gas wastewater treatment system that includes pretreatment, crystallization, biological treatment, ion exchange and reverse osmosis unit processes. This paper summarizes the challenges and lessons learned during startup and shakedown of a thermal treatment (crystallization) based model. This paper also summarizes the results of sampling and characterization efforts focused on:

  • Demonstrating that the treated water from a centralized oil and gas wastewater treatment facility can meet freshwater standards

  • Demonstrating that the salt quality generated by the crystallizer is equivalent to manufactured rock salt used for road deicing and other industrial applications

  • Establishing characteristics and market value for the concentrated high calcium chloride brine purge generated by the crystallizer

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.