New System Allows 100% Reuse of Frack Wastewater in Marcellus Test

Researchers with Halliburton and EQT have created a new friction reducer, testing it in three Marcellus wells. What’s a friction reducer? It is a chemical substance used to reduce the amount of friction water (or other liquids) encounters in a pipe. Lots of water (and recycled wastewater) is pumped down the bore hole to frack a Marcellus well–upward of 5 million gallons. About 20% of that water comes back out of the hole and is recycled and used again for more fracking. The problem is, the wastewater has a lot of minerals in it, i.e. it’s super “salty.” In order to keep recycling and using the wastewater to frack more wells, typically fresh water has to be added because as the wastewater gets more salty, it encounters more friction along the pipe. So a friction reducer is needed to keep the liquid flowing fast along the pipe. The innovation–the breakthrough that Halliburton has pioneered–means that drillers won’t have to add fresh water to recycled wastewater for fracking. They can now use 100% recycled wastewater with no fresh water added. Even as the wastewater is reused again and again, getting more salty, it can still be used without mixing in fresh water…

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