A program of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association

Antero's plans for fracking water treatment plant make sense

September 8, 2015 | The Exponent Telegram

One of the top concerns voiced about Marcellus Shale drilling is the huge amount of water needed in the fracking process.

Fracking is the use of a water 

and chemical mixture, which is fired under high pressure into the rock formation, to release the gas for capture.

Once water is used in drilling, it is no longer safe for use by residents or livestock.

So we’re pleased to learn that Antero Resources Corporation and Veolia Water Technologies Inc. will build a $275 million facility that will recycle flowback water for re-use at well sites.

Antero Vice President Al Schopp said the move is necessary for several reasons.

As he told WV MetroNews, the facility will save Antero about $150,000 in water costs per well and could generate about $65 million in revenue.

He also said that the current favored method of disposing of the water, injecting into the ground, will grow contentious in the future.

“We do believe that injection, which is the predominant method of getting rid of this water is going to be one that’s going to be under challenge here in the next 5-10 years. We believe we found an economical solution. It’s time for somebody in the industry to step up,” Schopp said.

The water treatment facility will also cut down on the number of water trucks making trips to Antero well sites, Schopp said.

The trucks have also been a target of critics, who complain about the dangers of the trucks on the roadways, as well as the damage they cause to road surfaces.

“Water will be trucked to the plant,” Schopp said. “All of the water out of the plant will go directly to the pipe — no trucking.”

Considering these facts, the plant makes sense. But it’s more apparent when you consider the investment Antero is making in the project and the economic boom it will be for the region.

MetroNews said the company has spent $500 million in water lines, plus the project will create about 250 temporary jobs during construction. There will also be a need for about 30-35 workers to operate the plant.

As Schopp said, it’s time someone in the industry steps up to help alleviate concerns voiced by residents with regard to water use and truck traffic.

The water treatment facility planned for Doddridge County does just that. And we applaud Antero’s efforts to improve Marcellus Shale operations in the region.

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