Marcellus Shale Basin, Pennsylvania, USA
In the rapidly-developing Marcellus Shale Basin of the northeastern United States, each shale-gas well is hydraulically fractured with between five and ten million gallons of water. Following fracing of each well, significant amounts of frac flow-back water come to the surface and must be managed and disposed of in an environmentally responsible method. Altela led a team that was awarded a Cooperative Agreement grant by the US Department of Energy’s National Environmental Technology Laboratory to demonstrate its AltelaRain® technology in the Marcellus. The purpose of the grant was to provide an integrated approach aimed at addressing the increasing water resource challenges between natural gas production and other water stakeholders in shale gas basins. Specifically, the grant project’s goals were to verify that the regulatory environment would support implementation of the AltelaRain® water treatment technology as well as verify that the treatment process adequately treated the various water sources to meet and/or exceed desired treatment specifications and cost parameters. This project demonstrated that the shale-gas industry does not solely have to minimize potential impacts to water resources but in fact has the opportunity to beneficially reuse and expand water supplies.