Although commodity prices have depressed oil and natural gas activity across the shales, Keller, TX-based Fountain Quail Water Management LLC was recently able to secure a commitment for up to $40 million of private equity financing to expand North American operations.
Established in 1996, Fountain Quail specializes in treating and recycling produced and flowback water generated in oil and gas plays. The company's two proprietary systems, Rover and Nomad, cut oil and gas producers' water-specific operating costs by eliminating the need to transport and dispose of wastewater and source and transport freshwater. Savings vary depending on location and range from at least 30% to 80%.
Across all U.S. shale plays, an average of 12 barrels of water is produced for every barrel of oil. In 2015, about 66 million barrels of water per day (b/d) flowed out of onshore U.S. oil and gas wells. By 2020, produced water volumes are expected to rise to 92 million b/d, according to IHS data cited by Fountain Quail.
Fountain Quail has deployed its Rover and Nomad systems in major shale plays across North America including the Marcellus, Utica, Barnett, Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin. "This financing is a significant milestone for our company and will enable us to deploy additional Rover and Nomad units along with other oilfield water management services," said Fountain Quail COO Brent Halldorson.
Fountain Quail's Rover is a mobile unit designed to create clean saltwater for reuse during hydraulic fracturing. Each Rover system is capable of recycling 10,000 barrels of clean brine per day (see Shale Daily, Sept. 5, 2013; Oct. 27, 2011). Nomad is a skid-mounted system, each one capable of generating 2,000 barrels of distilled, surface discharge-quality freshwater per day.
CEO Rich Broderick told NGI's Shale Daily that in recent years producers have become more knowledgeable about water recycling and reuse. These days in the Marcellus, though, the problem is a surplus of water, some of which is trucked from Pennsylvania to West Virginia and Ohio for Disposal. Fountain Quail can help with that, he said.
Fountain Quail is not involved in wastewater disposal into injection wells, and Broderick doesn't have an opinion on whether the practice contributes to seismicity in the area of injection wells, as some have alleged. However, the Fountain Quail technology can help alleviate the need to inject wastewater by cleaning it up for reuse.
Broderick said Fountain Quail has had inquiries about this in Oklahoma and in the Marcellus region. "If the clients and regulators deem it necessary to reduce volumes into injection wells, then we have a solution that can help solve that problem," he said.
Fountain Quail is currently only focused on the upstream oil and natural gas industry, Broderick said. But in the future it could become involved in applications serving the mining and other industries as well as power generators. One thing you won't see the company do is constructing large-scale reverse osmosis plants, he said.