Produced water pipelines are growing in the SCOOP, Merge and STACK, water conference attendees learned
By Jerry Bohnen | Oklahoma Energy Today | 12/13/2018
Produced water pipeline systems are continuing to grow in Oklahoma's SCOOP, Merge and STACK plays along with the numbers of wells being drilled and completed.
Updates on some of that work were provided by representatives of midstream companies and exploration and production companies who spoke at a morning session of the American Business Conference's Cost-Effective Water Management Congress SCOOP & STACK, held Wednesday at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City.
Gage Herrmann, Lagoon Water Solutions' chief commercial officer, opened the event by reflecting on how little was known about how produced water issues would be handled by operators just a year ago.
"We didn't know who our competitors were," he said. "Today, there is huge interest in SCOOP-STACK and there are a bunch of very, very capable commercial groups out there. It should lead to some good discussions" at the conference.
Lagoon, Herrmann noted, was founded in 2017 as a truck-based water hauler in Oklahoma's STACK play. But Herrmann said it didn't take long to realize the key to driving disposal costs down was to use pipelines to move it from producing to disposal wells.
The company operates 14 saltwater disposal wells that are served by about 75 miles of pipe, and operates trucks to provide temporary water haul services for future pipeline customers. It also is poised to grow, especially after closing on a $500 million (and expandable) equity deal with Macquarie Infrastructure Partners earlier this year.
Pipes, he told representatives of more than 150 companies attending the event, push costs lower by saving time.
Producers agreed. Some, like Alta Mesa Resources, are putting their own pipeline disposal systems into their operating areas.
David McClure, the firm's planning and water systems vice president, said it didn't take Alta Mesa long to understand.
Because of its contiguous acreage, he said, it made sense for it to build its own pipeline system. He said the company operates about 200 miles of lines leading to 20 active saltwater disposal wells that handle about 100,000 barrels of produced water daily, and added it is growing.
Plus, it has built another pipeline system connected to seven freshwater impoundments that carries water from one end of its field to the other for completion activities.
That's critical, he said, given it was "always a mad rush to determine where we could drill, based on where we could get water to and where we could get it from."
Byron Cottingham, a Roan Resources senior engineer, also addressed the value of creating piped systems to handle produced water, noting they play an important part of an operator's community relations by reducing the number of trucks it needs on the road.
"It is extremely important in more populated areas of Merge and SCOOP," he said.
Ryan Surroz, Bison Oilfield Services' water infrastructure president, said his firm will be operating more than 100 miles of produced water pipe leading to more than 30 disposal wells by the end of the coming year.
"It is a fun and challenging place," he said. "Because there are so many operators that have their own infrastructure while others don't, that makes it a tailor fit for us when we try to match and combine our resources to deliver value.
All thought piped disposal systems would continue to grow along with increased well counts in those plays.
"I see more and more piped barrels coming along," McClure said.