Technology to reuse oil field water scores landmark deal (video)

OriginOil has signed its first contract to bring its water-cleansing technology to the oil field, for use in a multistep process that will turn sludge from oil wells into water that can be reused, the company said Tuesday.

The deal, with Industrial Systems, will call for a module capable of processing up to 65 gallons a minute of flowback water associated with hydraulic fracturing — injection of water, sand and other substances into hard rock to force out oil and gas.

The OriginOil systems will go to work in Texas, Colorado and North Dakota oil fields.

Waterless frack: Fracturing with natural gas instead of water

The technology uses electrodes to create a reaction that forces sludge to rise to the surface of a tank. The company’s process then skims the sludge off the top of the water, leaving it clean enough to be reused in hydraulic fracturing or other processes, the company said. Here’s a closer look:

The Industrial Systems deal will include payment on a per-barrel basis, the company said.

“After researching the various water treatment systems on the market, we selected electro-coagulation as the best process, and OriginOil’s as best-performing among the choices, which include Halliburton, Ecosphere and others,” Industrial Systems CEO Bob Isom said in a statement.

OriginOil so far had not produced a full-scale module that could clean flowback water at a high rate. The company will build one to operate for Industrial Systems, it said in a press release.

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