Drilling Down: Water Recycling

You read in last week’s post about how we use water for the hydraulic fracturing of a Marcellus Shale well. You also read that we strive to recycle every last ounce of the 3.9 million gallons of water that fracing requires. The ability to recycle that water is so important because we can reuse the recycled water to fracture new wells in the area, thus reducing the environmental impact.

According to George Stark, Director of External Affairs at Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, “It is very important that we recycle, reuse and reduce the wastewater that we generate while harvesting natural resources. By partnering with ComTech Industries, we’re able to achieve this while helping grow the local economy. It’s really a win-win scenario.”

You might have met representatives from ComTech Industries Inc., the company responsible for almost all of Cabot’s water treatment and recycling, at the Cabot Community Picnic Saturday, July 21. Terry Bricks, Chief Engineering Officer for ComTech, said, “ Due to our mobile recycling capabilities, 90% of the workforce involved in our water recycling for Cabot are local. This is a main goal of our business model…to be able to utilize resources from the community by employing skilled people from Susquehanna County and the immediate region. It’s working well for us… it’s working well for local residents…and it’s working well for Cabot.”

At Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, we’re serious when it comes to safeguarding the environment and diminishing the impact of our well sites. That’s why we use a “closed loop” water system in our drilling operations that conserves natural water resources. Our “closed loop” water system captures and contains all of the fluids recovered from our drilling, completion and production operations. After recovered water is transported from a well pad to the nearby ComTech treatment facility, the recycling process involves three key stages:

Stage 1 – Mix Tank

Recovered water is first placed in a Mix Tank where agents are added to help purify the water by binding to any residual matter present. Stage 2 – Primary Clarifier Tank

Next, the water is separated from the now bound-up residual matter in a Primary Clarifier Tank. The non-hazardous solids are taken to a certified landfill. The water then moves on to a final stage. Stage 3 – Final Clarifier Tank

Here the water is cleared of remaining suspended solids and conditioned for 100% reuse in the drilling process. The reclaimed water is then transported back to a drilling site where it can be recycled for use.

The overarching benefit of this system is the reduced water demand, reduced truck traffic and smaller carbon footprint. Cabot’s commitment to using environmentally friendly processes underscores our dedication to protecting the environment and leading the way as a good corporate citizen and neighbor to the residents of Susquehanna County. Take a look at these tips for reducing water consumption and reducing your own carbon footprint.

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Bill desRosiers

Raised in Highland Falls, New York, William desRosiers learned about responsible resource development, firsthand, as a part of his family's mining business. William received his B.S. in Management, B.A.in History and MBA from Misericordia University. He currently serves in External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. His primary responsibilities include strengthening media relationships, managing company-run fundraising programs, building better community relations and representing Cabot every chance he has.

Comments 5

  1. […] Later in the month, a student from Oxford University traveled to beautiful Susquehanna County, researching our operations for her upcoming dissertation. The focus of her studies has been on corporate responsibility and environmental protections. For Cabot, environmental protections are never sacrificed in our operations, and this is something our company is extremely proud of. During this particular tour, I stressed Cabot’s insistence to go above state requirements in order to further ensure the environment is protected while natural gas is extracted, citing specifically closed-loop development, multiple containment protocols, erosion and sedimentation controls, our goal of 100% recycling & reuse of all fluids. […]

  2. I thought it was interesting that you use a “closed loop” water system when digging your wells. You talk about how this system is able to capture and contain all of the fluids recovered from drilling, completion and production options, which I think is really important because then you’re being careful that you’re not wasting any water. Thus, it seems like you are careful and thorough in your drilling and manufacturing. Thank you for sharing!

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