Technology helps lower cost and environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing

San Antonio-based Apex Management Group LLC (AMG), an oilfield services management company, has introduced a solution intended to reduce the cost and environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing. Working with ALCOR Energy Solutions LLC (Alcor/AES), AMG has developed a technology to treat and recycle frac water flowback in an environmentally friendly way, which eliminates the need to dispose of or dump contaminated water.

AMG’s solution utilizes turbines that run off stranded gas, which would otherwise be burned and its byproducts allowed to escape into the atmosphere. One of the biggest complaints about hydraulic fracturing is what to do with the contaminated, leftover water, which is either hauled away (at great expense) and dumped into the ground or processed, treated, and filtered, which is very costly.

Turbines put out a lot of heat – around  940 degrees Fahrenheit to be more precise – and AMG’s system captures this heat and uses it to distill the frac-water, which can then be used again in the fracing process or safely returned to the earth.

Frac water has been associated with a variety of environmental issues, including soil and drinking water contamination and earthquakes.

Another issue is gas flaring. Due to air quality concerns, the EPA has increased its restrictions on permits for gas flaring. In addition to the EPA regulations, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and California have already passed legislation restricting gas flares and flare permits. These restrictions can prevent oil and gas companies from fully developing their lease sites in remote areas with insufficient gas transportation infrastructure.

“The United States is sitting on massive oil and gas reserves that could be safely extracted and used to help break our foreign energy dependence and create millions of well-paying jobs,” said David Akin, president of AMG. “Our solutions make hydraulic fracturing less costly and greener – something that should please people on all sides of the issue.”

AMG currently has generators operating in northwest Oklahoma.

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