Recycling fracking fluids

Houston Chronicle:
 The oil and gas drilling boom that has sent thousands of workers and rigs into North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Texas now is spurring another gold rush, as companies jockey to clean up the briny, metal-laden water that pours out of wells nationwide.
The potential prize is huge, because the hydraulic fracturing process that is key to unlocking new oil and natural gas reserves involves blasting millions of gallons of water, along with sand and chemicals, deep underground to break up dense rock formations and unlock the hydrocarbons trapped inside.
Mounting concerns about the high water demands of fracturing in arid regions and the risks of earthquakes tied to underground injection wells used to dispose of wastewater from the work are driving energy producers to reuse more of the fluids.
This has prompted a scramble among recycling companies to gain a foothold in the new market. They're pushing various technologies for removing contaminants from water before it is pumped into the ground at wells and clean it up after the jobs are done.
About a third of the water used in fracturing emerges as flowback before a well starts producing, and more comes later from the formation itself as what the industry calls "produced water." Although smaller in quantity, it tends to be dirtier than flowback.
"This is a billion-dollar game of musical chairs," said Todd Asmuth, CEO of Madison, Wis.-based AquaMost, one of the companies pioneering technology for stripping contaminants out of water that emerges from fractured wells. "There's a lot of players out there with technology solutions, and the producers want to have a couple of solutions in hand. But the music is still going on. At some point the music is going to stop and there's going to be a lot fewer players out there, and it's a question of who is linked up with the right producers and what the regulatory changes are."
... 
I think this makes a lot of sense.  It also deals with the objections critics have raised about he process as well as concerns raised about water shortages that might be caused by the process.  There is also an opportunity to create a new business model.  We can let Obama argue about whether they are interested in creating wealth or creating jobs, but the fact is that jobs usually follow the wealth creation.

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