Across the nation, oil and natural gas companies are adopting new water recycling processes. One is making significant investments right here in Oklahoma. Completed in 2017, Newfield Exploration’s Barton Water Recycling Facility near Kingfisher services multiple well sites in Oklahoma’s STACK play. The $40 million facility is the first of its kind in the state, and with its 30,000 barrel-per-day capacity, the facility is making a positive impact on water reuse and the environment.

“Water has become an absolutely critical component that demands careful planning for environmental conservation and the needs of local businesses. This facility is a positive step in the continuing evolution of the industry.”

Dana Murphy, Chairman, Oklahoma Corporate Commission

Recycled water: What is it?

Recycled water is the byproduct of treating, or cleaning, produced water. “Produced water” is water that comes out of a well along with oil and/or natural gas during production. Produced water can be treated and cleaned for reuse in future hydraulic fracturing operations, dramatically reducing the need for fresh water and underground water disposal. That’s where Newfield’s Barton Water Recycling Facility comes in.

It takes 21 days.

Incoming produced water passes through a series of pits where impurities such as oil, sand and other solids are extracted. Next, a nutrient-rich mixture of microbes are added and oxygen is introduced. These ‘good’ bacteria grow and further purify the water. At the end of the 21-day process, the recycled water is stored until needed at the next well site.

30,000 barrels per day.

The facility is designed to produce 30,000 ready-to-use barrels of recycled water per day. That replaces 30,000 barrels of fresh water that would have been used for completion operations. The facility has a 4.1 million-barrel storage capacity to serve the water needs of area wellsites.

The direct route to saving water.

Temporary water lines, also called lay flat lines, are tied into the main recycled water pipeline for transport to nearby wells and are easily removed once operations are complete. This takes an estimated 250 tank trucks off community roads that would have been needed to transport the water required for one hydraulic fracturing procedure.

This facility is another example of the oil and natural gas industry’s commitment to protecting the environment. As Reed Durfey, the plant’s water and technology service manager says,

“We live and work here too, so we make sure that we leave the land and the water beneath it as good as we found it.”

—Reed Durfey, Water and Technology Service Manager, Newfield Exploration

Saving fresh water, protecting the environment, producing the resources we all depend on – with fewer trucks on the roads. This facility is a model for improved well-water management and a new level of environmental accountability. And the Barton facility is only the beginning.

Stay up to date on water recycling efforts and all things related to Oklahoma oil and natural gas at EnergyHQ.com.

EnergyHQ is powered by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board – OERB – which is voluntarily funded by the state's oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners. The OERB provides free environmental restoration of abandoned well sites and works to educate the state's citizens about the oil and natural gas industry. For more on the OERB's mission and how it is funded, visit OERB.com.