A partnership between an agriculture company and a West Texas farm could create a solution to the Permian Basin’s oil and gas waste water dilemma, and the region’s scarce water supplies for farming and ranching.
Produced water is brought up to the surface during extraction. Traditionally, that water is pumped back underground via an injection well, and some oil and gas producers found ways to treat the water to a quality that could be reused in hydraulic fracturing. But as fracking and the American oil and gas industry boomed in the desert region of southeast New Mexico and West Texas – an area also known for heavy agricultural activity – scientists, companies and government agencies began studying how to treat and reuse produced water outside of oil and gas.
Wyoming-based Encore Green Environmental and Wilson Farms of Midkiff, Texas, plan to use solar energy to treat the water and use it to grow crops at the cotton farm.
The companies announced their own memorandum of understanding on Monday and Encore CEO Marvin Nash said they had a meeting with the New Mexico consortium.
Nash said the company has acquired permitting to put the treated produced water on the ground in Wyoming and is hoping to do the same in New Mexico.