Solar-infused water treatment system set for Permian

By Luke Geiver | January 07, 2020

Economically treating oilfield produced water for agricultural use may become a reality in the prolific Permian Basin through a new partnership’s vision.

Currently, more than 90 percent of produced water is injected into disposal wells, with the rest minimally treated and used in hydraulic fracturing. Removing enough impurities for agricultural use is generally deemed possible, but prohibitively expensive.

Cheyenne, WY based Encore Green Environmental has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Wilson Farms in Midkiff, TX to host a cutting-edge process utilizing produced water in concentrated solar power (CSP) to generate the electricity whose sale into the grid would fund the operation. Spent steam from the CSP would be condensed back into liquid, creating water clean enough for conservation and agriculture. Ongoing solar tax credits would boost profitability.

Encore Green Environmental CEO Marvin Nash, with years of oilfield and agriculture experience, founded Encore Green Environmental in 2017 to recycle produced water for agricultural use. His company uses a patent-pending and trademarked process, Conservation By-Design, to test the recipient soil, clean produced water of oil, iron, TSS and more. Its process batches the water and uses blockchain to identify and continually track the water as it’s applied to the land.

Wilson Farms CEO Cody Wilson is a fourth-generation Midkiff, Texas-area farmer with four sections of land earmarked for placing the CSP and applying finished product water to the soil in this project. He and Nash are partnered to put produced water to good use and create economic opportunity.

With degrees from Texas A&M and Texas Tech, Wilson spent several years in banking before returning to his family’s agricultural roots. His recycling interest began with using cotton gin waste as mulch.

Benefits to this type system include: reducing manmade tremors associated with typical water injection; sequestering carbon through agriculture; capturing solar energy for electricity generation; reducing agricultural water table drawdown from irrigation; increasing the Permian’s vegetative and wildlife growth.

They are seeking partners in technology and investment to design and build the CSP and to connect it to the grid.