PERMIAN BASIN (NEXSTAR) — A company headquartered in Houston recycles wastewater in the Permian Basin.
Breakwater Energy Partners has a location in Big Spring.
Jason Jennaro, the company’s CEO, says it’s doing its part to help quell the number of earthquakes in the Permian Basin.
The Texas Railroad Commission recently took steps to reduce the frequency of basin earthquakes. The organization ordered the indefinite suspension of all deep oil and gas-produced water injections in the region on December 31, 2021.
More specifically, operators of disposal wells in the Gardendale Seismic Response Area will be permitted to inject below the top of what’s referred to as the Strawn Formation, according to the RRC.
One of the ways the region can cut the number of quakes could be by recycling the wastewater injected into the ground. Jennaro says there’s a lot of it.
“What a lot of folks don’t realize is, it’s really more of a water basin,” said Jennaro. “There’s probably about three barrels of water produced for every barrel of oil.”
Jennaro says when that water is taken from the ground, there’s oil, organics, iron, and salt in that product.
“What we do is we take that water, and we recycle it up to a spec that can be reused in completions,” Jennaro added. “We also recycle it up to a spec where we can store it for long periods of time.”
Deep well injection has seen the distribution of billions of barrels of water, non-stop, for years.
Jennaro believes that the quakes come from that activity.
“You create increased pressure and you effectively lubricate these ancient vaults, and these ancient vaults clearly have become more active and more intense over the last five years,” said Jennaro. “And, that’s triggered a lot of the issues and the concern that you’ve seen from the general public and from operators and clearly, clearly the Railroad Commission.”
According to Breakwater’s website, the organization has more than 100 years of combined experience in the water management industry and has had operations in the United States since the 1990s.