Water management can contribute to significant costs in some shale operations due to curtailed disposal capacity or poor access to source water. Logistics of wastewater transport tend to dominate the cost equation. This work discloses pilot results and economics for a novel surface treatment technology that reduces volumes for transport and lowers costs. The authors set out to re-optimize an industrially available evaporator-crystallizer into a configuration that is more suited for shale through collaboration with shale operators. Early work revealed that the total costs of ownership could be reduced by 50% over conventional systems through four key modifications:

1. Convert the closed multiple effect system to a single open effect system that evaporates vapour to the atmosphere.
2. Develop an active volatile organic compound (VOC) management system to prevent VOC emissions to atmosphere.
3. Produce a re-usable industrial by-product salt.
4. Employ waste thermal energy ranging from 65 to 86°C.

A pilot plant was modified per above and tested on shale waters off-site. A field pilot in the Montney shale will be site tested in October 2018. This presentation will review the pilot performance and economics and discuss production of industrially re-usable salt by-product. The authors seek to share results and learn from shale operators, with the objective of lower cost shale water management in regions facing constrained disposal well capacity or high wastewater transportation costs.

Primary Author / Conference Presenter:
Ben Sparrow
CEO and Chief Engineer
Saltworks Technologies, Inc.
Richmond, BC, Canada

Henry Tsin, Technology Director, Saltworks Technologies; Ellie Albadvi, Technical Solutions Engineer, Saltworks Technologies