Caution + Care = 99.9% Success Rate

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Water management is one of the things that companies who produce oil and gas have to do really well. At WPX, we work with care, train our employees and have invested millions of dollars in water treatment and recycling facilities.

Reporting spills is part of this process and our commitment to comply with state requirements. Today the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission requires operators to report any spill involving one barrel (42 gallons) or more of fluid.

In 2014, WPX handled more than 19 million barrels (798 million gallons) of water, liquids and fluids in our local drilling and production operations in the Piceance Basin. For some context, that’s enough liquid to fill more than 1,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

So how’d we do? Of that amount, we kept 99.983 percent of the water and fluids “in the swimming pool” so to speak, or more precisely, where that water was supposed to be – in pipes, tanks, equipment, trucks, etc.

The amount we spilled – 0.017 percent – was less than one quarter of one percent. We documented each of these occurrences – 85 reported in all totaling 3,400 barrels – according to requirements.

About a quarter of the spills occurred in areas where we had lined containment. Additionally, 90 percent of the 3,400 barrels stayed on drilling pads where we ultimately recovered about 87 percent of the spilled  volumes.

99.9 is a strong success rate, but we’re committed to constant improvement. Spill prevention is where we and our contractors can make the biggest, most beneficial impact.

Water Recycling

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In the Piceance Basin, WPX recycles nearly 100 percent of our water. Typically in this industry, much of water hauling is done by trucks. Instead, we built our own state-of-the-art water management systems in Parachute and Rulison, Colo.

Why does WPX make the extra effort?

It’s not only less expensive for us to recycle the water and reuse it in our Colorado operations, but it also reduces truck traffic and noise significantly — we’ve already eliminated some 90,000 truck loads.

That results in less wear and tear on the roads, and it’s more environmentally friendly to continue to use the same water, especially in drought years. It make sense — by recycling and reusing our produced water, we don’t have to use as much fresh water.