STW Resources Holding Corp. said the Capitan Reef Aquifer could produce more than 100 million gallons of water per day for more than 100 years, according to recent tests of the aquifer in West Texas. The brackish water could supply area communities as well as oil and gas drilling operations.
"Being a native West Texan, this is a project that I've been dreaming of since I formed the company," said STW Resources CEO Stanley Weiner. "We have three goals: clean up brackish and oilfield produced and flowback water for use in the oilfields (thus preserving our precious fresh water resources), process brackish water for municipalities for West Texas citizens, and reclaim any other types of contaminated waters for reuse."
STW recently obtained approval from the Middle Pecos Groundwater District to drill an additional development water well to further define the extent of the water contained in the aquifer. STW plans to drill and complete all of the production wells and run its own flow rates along with other criteria to determine the parameters of the reservoir with the assistance of a certified hydrogeological firm that specializes in evaluating water reservoirs and how much water is actually contained in them, the company said.
Production rates from a monitor well are encouraging, STW said, and good reason to accelerate the well development program.
The monitor well that was drilled in 2013 to a depth of 3,500 feet. It contains about 500 feet of the Capitan Reef Formation and is currently producing approximately 300 gallons per minute or 432,000 gallons of water per day, according to STW. Based on the performance of other wells in the area that have been drilled through the formation, there should be an additional 500-800 or more feet of Capitan Reef Formation, the company said.
The development well being drilled by STW, utilizing the monitor well water, will be drilled to the bottom of the Capitan Reef Formation to determine the extent of the reservoir. It is currently drilling at 1,200 feet. If the additional footage of reservoir is proven, this development well should produce two to four-plus times the volume of water that the monitor well is producing or approximately 1 million to 1.6 million gallons of water per day, the company said.
The project is pursuant to the signing of a lease agreement with the city of Fort Stockton, TX, last summer to drill multiple water wells on municipal land to produce and market water from the Capitan Reef to other municipalities in West Texas. Texas is still in a severe drought stage and many of the towns that the planned STW water pipeline will serve are close to running out of water for their citizens, according to STW.
The Capitan Reef water will also be sold to end-users for drilling oil and gas wells instead of using fresh water. The company holds the right to sell water contracts to beneficial users for up to 30 years or the life of the contracts agreed upon. The project is divided into three phases with the initial phase expected to cost $18 million. The company said it is currently negotiating terms with investors for partnerships and/or financing.
Initially, STW and the city of Fort Stockton have agreed to build multiple water stations to provide water for industrial customers. Simultaneously the company is contracting a 189-mile pipeline through the Permian Basin to provide water to nine communities.
"Water will be sold and transported through the pipeline during construction to towns and beneficial end users along the route," Weiner said. "We hope to pipeline it to San Angelo and then put the extra in an already existing pipeline that goes to Midland, Odessa and several other communities..."