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ExxonMobil's Bakken Ops Secure Water Pipeline, Services With Nuverra

Nuverra Environmental Solutions has signed a contract to build a 150-mile water pipeline and provide related services for ExxonMobil Corp.'s North Dakota operations in McKenzie County.

The long-term, fee-based agreement with subsidiary XTO Energy Inc. is for water gathering, disposal services and fresh water delivery, according to the Scottsdale, AZ-based firm.

"The construction of this pipeline represents a transformational step in our effort to become a fully integrated environmental solutions provider in North Dakota," said Nuverra CEO Mark Johnsrud.

"With significant increases in well density and growing water volumes, we believe our pipeline network represents an important complement to our transportation capabilities and provides sustainable and efficient water gathering and delivery solutions for our customers.

The McKenzie County Pipeline Network would serve XTO's dedicated acreage, as well as other operator wells in the area. The network is to include fixed, buried pipelines with a gathering line to transport produced and flowback water for disposal/recycling and a distribution line for fresh water delivery.

The water pipeline network is projected to cost $125-150 million, based on current engineering and construction specifications, and be completed in late 2015. Construction is set to begin in May.

In the Bakken Shale, ExxonMobil's oil-rich output was up 38% in 3Q2014 from a year ago, and it has become the "most active unconventional liquids growth engine" for the company, according to investor relations chief Jeff Woodbury (see Shale Daily, Oct. 31).

At the end of September ExxonMobil had 13 rigs running in the Bakken versus 10 in the year-ago period. New wells brought online between July and September were up 25% from a year earlier, with production increasing from each well.

Last year Halliburton Co. partnered with Nuverra in the Bakken to advance a produced water recycling project using Halliburton's H20 Forward Service, which reduces the amount of fresh water required in fracturing processes (see Shale Daily, July 16, 2013). For operations conducted by the oilfield services company in the Bakken using H20, Nuverra was contracted to provide logistics, transportation, storage and fluid management.

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