Chesapeake's Wastewater Treatment

Recycling Fracking Water

Written by Green Chip Stocks
Posted February 13, 2012 at 5:26PM

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) is a major developer in Ohio’s Utica shale formation.  Currently running seven wells in Ohio, the company hopes to have as many as 30 by 2014.

And with such heavy production comes the responsibilities, we hope, of safe drilling practices.

That’s why Chesapeake, working with Rettew Flowback Inc., has developed a process of water treatment and wastewater recycling.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires a large amount of water mixed with sand and chemicals to break apart the shale formations and release the natural gas within.

And this water, once its full of chemicals, must be disposed of carefully.

The system developed by Rettew Flowback for Chesapeake can treat between 250 and 300 barrels of water each hour.  It removes the mud and brine from wastewater, allowing Chesapeake to reuse it for drilling and reducing the amount of chemicals when it is disposed in injection wells.

And around 95% of the wastewater put through the treatment system can be reused in drilling.

So far only one system of this kind is in operation, though Chesapeake has indicated that it would like to build more.

The existing system is located in Carroll County, Ohio, and employs 15 locals full time.

Liquid waste from fracking operations is disposed of in injection wells.  There are currently 177 of these in Ohio, though one was recently closed for investigation after a number of earthquakes shook the area.

Environmental investigations are ongoing in this drilling and disposal process to determine and ensure the safety of fracking.

But Chesapeake is doing its part by recycling water and minimizing the toxins in wastewater.

Enjoy this article? Get more in our Free Newsletter

Get the inside track on the most lucrative stock plays in today's scorching-hot alternative and renewable energy markets.

Sign up for the FREE Energy and Capital daily e-Letter from alternative energy experts Jeff Siegel and Nick Hodge. We'll also send you our latest report on Wind Investing straight to your inbox.

Your Privacy is Assured.

Jeff Siegel on CNBC

Green Chip Stocks Editor Jeff Siegel, featured guest on CNBC's Green Week

Related Articles

Pennsylvania Town to Gas Companies: Frack Off
Editor Jimmy Mengel discusses one town's resistance to the controversial drilling practice known as "fracking."
The Top Ten Most Endangered Rivers
The Susquehanna River is the most endangered river in the U.S. - due primarily to fracking pollution. Check out the top ten most endangered U.S. rivers to see if your local river is in trouble.
Fracking Safety
R.T. Jones weighs in on the fracking debate.
Investors Demand Disclosure
A new wave of oil and gas company shareholders is demanding disclosure on environmental risks