Appalachian Basin

Norse Energy Shows The Way!

Last week thanks to Norse Energy I was privileged, along with some local government officials, to receive a tour of the Diehl Compressor Station in upstate New York.  How to deal with the “produced water” that comes back up the well with natural gas is a frequently expressed concern of those opposing natural gas exploration in our area.  Norse, in cooperation with Texas A&M engineers, has addressed this issue by creating a filtration system that operates within the compressor stations serving each drilling unit or group of units.  Once again, technological innovations by the industry are rendering issues moot as fast as they can be raised.

The system I toured is a small scale water treatment operation headed by David Burnett. “We have been developing reliable membrane filtration processes for almost a decade,” said Burnett, Director of Technology for GPRI.  This system is in a testing phase, currently cleaning 2 gallons of water per minute, but, once it is perfected, it will expand to larger volumes.  The company hopes to produce a full scale model that will clean 100 gallons of water per minute.  The following video begins to tell the story.

To appreciate the complexity of the filter, take a look at the video below:

Inside the system, the water travels through a three step approach.  Each step takes out a different type of waste from the water.  The waste is then distributed into the separate containers for each product.   These containers are specific to the wastes extracted from the water.  They are closed containers and each receives special handling based on what is in them.

Once the water is filtered, it is reused to extract natural gas from a different well head on the same pad or a well head on a different pad.  The water being recycled significantly reduces the amount of water the exploration process requires and decreases the amount of produced water the company will need to dispose of in the future.

This is also cost efficient, explained in the below video briefly.

Norse has been striving to improve its production process by implementing these filtration techniques as they become available.  This facility is not only well maintained, but is an example of leading edge technology.  The operators are well-trained and know exactly what to do with each product extracted out of the water – one of the many steps  Norse is taking steps to ensure both safety and efficiency.  Norse Energy, like most gas companies, has a strong incentive to protect the environment using such approaches.

Local officials who attended the tour also saw how the process works and got the opportunity to ask questions.  Their reaction was very positive.  They saw for themselves how the industry and Norse Energy, in particular, is leading the way to recycling, reduced water use and real returns for everyone involved.


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