Antero Resources Corporation (AR) ("Antero" or the "Company") announced today that it has signed an agreement with Veolia Water Technologies Inc. and Veolia North America ("Veolia") to design and build a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment complex in Doddridge County, West Virginia. This complex includes an initially designed 60,000 barrel per day facility that will allow Antero to treat and reuse flowback and produced water rather than permanently dispose of the water in injection wells. Antero will own the treatment assets including any ancillary facilities. The complex will be centrally located in Antero's footprint in the southwestern core of the Marcellus Shale play with the ability to serve the Company's development in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays.
- Veolia will design, build, operate and maintain a 60,000 barrel per day advanced wastewater treatment facility under a turnkey contract for Antero in Doddridge County, West Virginia
- Antero will own the $275 million treatment complex, which is expected to take two years to build, and generate on a standalone basis $55 million to $65 million of EBITDA at full utilization three years following the in service date
- Complex will allow Antero to treat and reuse flowback and produced water rather than permanently dispose of the water in injection wells
- Treatment facility will save Antero approximately $150,000 per well on future completion costs
- Combined with Antero's existing freshwater pipeline distribution system, the advanced wastewater treatment complex places Antero at the forefront of environmentally conscious water management in U.S. shale plays
- The complex will be an integral part of Antero's water business and is subject to Antero Midstream's option to purchase the business
Advanced Wastewater Treatment Complex
The Antero advanced wastewater treatment facility will incorporate Veolia's proprietary AnoxKaldnes™ MBBR biological treatment and its CoLD Process®, an advanced evaporation and crystallization technology, to treat a full range of water qualities including Antero's completion flowback and produced water. This same technology has been successfully utilized in dozens of facilities around the world. The 60,000 barrel per day facility will produce fresh water that meets stringent fresh water quality specifications, resulting in the treated water being delivered back into Antero's existing fresh water distribution system and reused for ongoing completions and development. In addition to reusable fresh water, the facility is expected to produce marketable byproducts with commercial value including salt and other brine products currently used by oil and gas operators for drilling and completion activities.
Veolia has agreed to build the complex under a turnkey contract and will operate it under a 10-year agreement. The contract contains performance guarantees including uptime availability, which considerably de-risks the project economics and reliability. The treatment facility is expected to be in service by the end of 2017, pending finalization of project logistics including regulatory permitting and construction.
Paul Rady, Chairman and CEO, commented, "Our concentrated acreage position in the core of the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays has enabled Antero to build the largest freshwater delivery pipeline system in the industry and we will now build the largest advanced wastewater treatment complex in Appalachia. These two solutions take the freshwater source to the well pad and then to full recycling. This significantly improves the safety and reduces the environmental impact of shale development by removing hundreds of thousands of water truckloads from the roads every year, and recycles and reuses the water rather than dispose of it. The solutions also provide Antero with a significant development cost advantage. The freshwater delivery and wastewater treatment projects are integral to the long-term sustainability of Antero's development of its two world class shale plays."
Additionally, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin praised Antero's project, stating, "Antero's planned advanced wastewater treatment complex in Doddridge County is good for the environment and good for West Virginia's economy. This is a substantial capital investment that will create construction and long term operating jobs while also reducing the amount of fresh water that Antero withdraws from state waterways. I commend Antero for making a significant commitment to our state's economy and minimizing the impact of oil and gas operations on local communities."
Estimated Capital Expenditures for Advanced Wastewater Treatment Complex
Capital investment for the advanced wastewater treatment complex is estimated to be $275 million, which includes site preparation and construction, byproducts processing equipment and five miles of water pipeline that will connect the Antero treatment facility to its existing fresh water distribution system.
Glen Warren, President and CFO, commented, "Based on Antero's current development plan and the resulting flowback and produced water, we expect the treatment facility to be approximately 50% utilized upon the in service date in 2017 and to ramp to full utilization within 36 months, excluding any potential third party volumes. Following the $275 million buildout, and at full capacity assuming a $4.00 intercompany fixed fee per barrel charge for water treatment, we expect the facility to generate $55 to $65 million in annual EBITDA on a standalone basis and excluding sales of potential commercial byproducts. Based on our current drilling plans, we expect the facility to generate attractive all-in cash on cash returns in-line with our midstream organic gathering and compression capital investments of 4-times to 7-times EBITDA. Finally, we believe that the facility will save Antero approximately $150,000 per well on future completion costs when compared to historical costs for simple recycling and disposal of produced water."
Potential Water Business Drop Down to Antero Midstream
On July 9th, 2015, Antero Midstream Partners LP ("Antero Midstream") notified Antero of its intent to exercise its option to purchase Antero's water business and transaction negotiations between the parties are ongoing. If Antero Midstream purchases Antero's water business, it is expected to enter into a 20-year water services agreement covering all of Antero's areas of operations in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, as well as any future areas of operation. The existing water services agreement with Antero would be included in the expected drop down of the water business. The water business will include the advanced wastewater treatment complex.