De Nora completes one of the world’s largest produced water recycling projects

ClorTec electro-chlorination systems lead oil and gas industry into a new era of water reuse treating more than 140,000 barrels of produced water per day


De Nora has announced the completion of phase one of its Delaware Basin Wastewater Recycling Project, achieving produced water rates exceeding 140,000 barrels per day – a total of more than 5 million barrels over a 30-day period. The highest quality recorded in the company’s history, De Nora and its project partners set a new benchmark for the industry, charting the path to a more sustainable future in oil and gas production.

Alex Gonzalez, president of De Nora Neptune, said: “Understanding the various challenges we face as an industry and society as a whole, including water scarcity and increased seismic activity, we prioritise providing our customers with ESG-friendly services that integrate seamlessly with existing operations. Our method enables the greenest, safest, and most efficient approach to produced water recycling for use into hydraulic fracturing.”

The project, which began in May, established four ClorTec mobile treatment units along a network of simultaneous fracturing systems. The modular setup gives producers the ability to target areas of concern at any point in the upstream or midstream water utilisation cycle, tapping into existing pipelines or feeding directly off saltwater disposal (SWD) wells. This reduces the reliance on freshwater for planned fracturing activity, while also eliminating the emissions traditionally required for the transport of water to site – two challenges faced in the energy sector.

De Nora’s electro-chlorination process is effective at killing bacteria populations without the use of hazardous chemicals, enhancing the safety for workers on site, as well as the surrounding environment and ecosystem. Solar salt, used in De Nora’s solution in place of complex chemicals, is sourced responsibly through renewable wind and solar processes and greatly reduces trailer traffic compared to chemicals and water transport, supporting the company’s commitment to offsetting carbon emissions without compromising cost or effectiveness.

Brian Mueller, consultant at B2K2 Consulting, concluded: “Climate change continues to fuel severe drought conditions around the globe, which is especially evident in energy production regions, The industry is constantly evolving to do our part in reducing our carbon footprint and protecting water, our most precious resource.

“The EPA estimates annual water usage for hydraulic fracking to be as high as 140 billion gallons. This project recently completed by De Nora Neptune and their partners proves that a drastic reduction in water supply use in this figure is achievable. In addition to the environmental impact of using dwindling freshwater supplies, there is also a steep economic cost; the technology used in the project provides both sustainability and financial benefits to the market, and leaves freshwater supplies available for other community use.”