A new joint partnership provides a solution to the environmental issues surrounding the treatment of mineral-laden brackish water from Marcellus Shale drilling, a problem that has threatened to severely limit natural gas drilling in several northeastern states. The partnership is between Casella Waste Systems Inc., based in Rutland, Vt., and Altela Inc., a privately held water desalination company in Albuquerque, N.M. Together, these two companies have partnered to solve the environmental issue of brackish, salty water produced from drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale basin that until recently often was discharged into area rivers, with little or no treatment for hard-to-remove salt contaminants.
formed joint partnership, "Casella-Altela Regional Environmental Services
LLC," or "CARES," will recycle brackish oilfield and natural gas
wastewater into clean distilled water for future industry use. The cleaned
water is said to be the same quality as rainwater, and can be recycled and reused
by the oil and gas industry.
As part of
the joint partnership, Altela will provide the technology to clean the brackish
water to a quality higher than state and federal standards, while Casella will
provide the working infrastructure and operational facilities for the treatment
water treatment facility will be located at the Casella-owned landfill located
in McKean County, Pa. The placement of the treatment facility
at the McKean landfill provides a platform to provide a full suite of resource
solutions to the drilling companies, including storage for brackish and clean
water. The water treatment facility will be powered by clean energy generated
by methane gas captured from the landfill.
treats water without electricity-intensive equipment, making use of methane gas
from landfills. In addition, its technology does not require high temperatures
or pressure; Altela uses a low-energy thermal distillation method that mimics
nature's method of producing rain, and neither electricity nor pressure drives
is a perfect environmental fit – making pure distilled water from brackish
Marcellus oilfield water – at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions
for the oil and gas industry in treating waste water," says Ned Godshall,
Altela's chief executive officer.
McKean site is adjacent to an existing rail spur, the facility will enable both
the transport of large volumes of frac flowback water to the site, and then
clean, treated water back to its customers throughout Pennsylvania
and New York.
Marcellus Shale needs a sustainable solution to treat frac flowback
water," says Matthew Bruff, Altela's vice president, "and this
partnership with Casella allows us to extend our corporate philosophy of
sustainable re-use of water. It allows us to now extend, to E&P wastewater
in northwestern Pennsylvania,
the progressive re-use options for which we've been a leader in brackish oil
and gas wastewater.”
announced that this is the first of many facilities planned throughout the
Northeast to combine the synergies of landfill waste energy with Altela's reclamation
of pure water from frac flowback water using low-grade heat – not expensive
electricity. Further locations will be announced in the near future.
our companies bring a new dimension to water re-use, recycling and
environmental stewardship to energy extraction in the Marcellus and Utica Shale
basin," says Godshall.
New Recycling Solution to Treat Marcellus Shale Frac Water
October 25, 2011