Warwood getting frack water plant

WHEELING – Frack water will be recycled in Warwood by September, following GreenHunter Water’s $750,000 purchase of a former gasoline storage facility on North 28th Street.

“The GreenHunter Wheeling Barge terminal facility will be the first of its kind in the country once we complete construction,” said John Jack, vice president of GreenHunter’s Appalachian region. “The GreenHunter Wheeling Barge facility will offer a one-stop shop for Appalachia producers for condensate handling, oilfield brine recycling, reuse and disposal in addition to barge transloading services.”

GreenHunter is an independent water and environmental services company, but the firm has the same chairman and chief executive officer as Magnum Hunter Resources in Gary C. Evans. Magnum officials affectionately refer to the company’s Marcellus and Utica shale operations as the “Magnum Rich” region. Magnum drills wells locally under the Triad Hunter division in Monroe, Wetzel and Tyler counties.

“Magnum Hunter Resources is a customer of GreenHunter Water and they subscribe to all of our Total Water Management Solutions. That said, Magnum will account for approximately 17 percent of GreenHunter’s total revenues in 2012,” said Jonathan D. Hoopes, president and chief operating officer for GreenHunter. He said his company does business with “at least two dozen” drillers and frackers in the Marcellus and Utica regions.

A $1.7 million construction project should begin on the 10.8-acre site by April. Plans call for turning the existing 11,000-square-foot building into the water recycling station, while building up to 19,000 barrels of water tank storage.

The project will create about 15 construction jobs, while 12 permanent new jobs will be created once the plant is open.

“The 12 operations jobs will be new jobs. Pay scale will range from hourly technical to managerial level,” said Hoopes.

GreenHunter will use is vibration separation system at the barge terminal to remove suspended solids from the briny wastewater. Natural gas and oil producers will be able to reuse the filtered fluids or have them placed onto a barge to reduce waste transportation costs.

Most of the wastewater from drilling and fracking – once it cannot be recycled or reused any further – eventually ends up being injected into disposal wells, such as the one operated by Gary Hill atop the Kirkwood Heights area of Belmont County.

“We anticipate having vacuum trucks staged onsite for quick response to both the Utica and Marcellus shale drilling and producing areas. The Wheeling terminal is located within 30 miles of the emerging Utica play and is conveniently accessed via Interstate 70,” Jack said. “GreenHunter continues to look for ways to reduce the cost of water handling and disposal for our customers in this region.”