See the future of waste and waste water recycling for the Oil & Gas industry, with a non-profit The New Frackers Project that we support. To learn more about Thomas’s company go here http://www.newfrackers.org and to reach out to Thomas directly email him at Thomas@newfrackers.org
Mark: Hey, folks let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.
All right. Today, we have a special guest. We have Thomas with us. Good morning, Thomas.
Thomas: Good morning, Mark.
Mark: Yeah. Thomas and I just cannot figure out how to get into the same city at the same time, so we decided we just go ahead and shoot this interview via Skype.
So, Thomas is involved in a nonprofit organization that we’re actually taking part in because we believe in it so much. So, Thomas, give us a little bit of history, give us the name of your nonprofit and tell us where it started and where you’re going with it?
Thomas: Thanks. Sure. The name of the nonprofit is called The New Frackers Project. And, it’s a collaboration between energy companies, landowners, and other industry professionals tackling the water management or recycling of shell waste. And, you know, as you pointed out to me and before in our conversations, there is quite a bit of effort or delay in new technologies finding their way into the marketplace and much less into the field. And, this project is all about accelerating the use of new water management best practices and recycling of shell waste where nothing goes to waste, nothing is sent to the landfills.
Mark: Yeah. And one of the things I love about this is that not only do you have a lot of process and a lot of science, you actually have this down pack, you can actually execute on this, but now you’re sharing this with everybody, right? You’re not out there trying to monopolize it, anybody has an interest, any operator, any disposal company who has an interest on one of the best practices, you want to engage them and partner with them, right?
Thomas: Yes, absolutely. That’s all about the collaboration. This problem or the challenge that the industry has regarding water management and disposal of the shell waste that comes out of the drilling process and the production processes, it’s really so big that it needs all of us working together or as many of us working together that has an interest in it. It’s just not – it’s not the right time and the right situation to try to corner the market and grab the biggest market share and, you know, be all about profits. There’s just more to it, there’s more social and environmental responsibility aspect to this.
We support The New Frackers Project because its a Win – Win for all involved.
Mark: Yeah. And, I absolutely agree. In fact, one of the reasons that we decided to help participate with you is because we love the fact that you try to give something back. And when I say give something back a lot of people automatically think, oh, that’s going to affect my profitability. Actually, what you’re trying to do will increase profitability for companies and it’s better for the environment and it’s better for the local population and it’s better for the operators, so the new frackers project a win-win all the way around.
Thomas: It really is. It’s very exciting in that respect and I can’t wait to continue sharing it. I’m so excited you’re taking the time to interview me and – and help others learn more about it because it’s very exciting.
And, you’re right, it has some very good economic benefits for the operators and we can all also show disposal well operators how to reduce the pressure – the downhole pressure and create longer living disposal wells, if you will because we’re able to help them treat the water and pull out a lot of the solids before they injected it to the wells which we believe science will prove that reducing that pressure on the disposal wells will reduce the risk of seismic activity that’s associated with some of the disposal wells.
Mark: Right. And, let me stop you back up. So, you’re not necessarily cleaning up water to inject in disposal wells, if the situation warrants you can actually take everything and either clean that water enough that it can be put back into the system and you can take the solids and turn it into things like plastics and building materials and literally nothing will need to be injected if it works, is that correct?
Thomas: Yeah. There’s a number of – there’s absolutely a number of levels of this treatment process, but — and there are so many different facets of water management and recycling of waste that we have three different versions of pilot projects that we’re in the process of rolling out.
And one of them that we’re launching here within the next week or two is within a disposal well operator and we are specifically helping him extend the life of his disposal well and reduce the risk of seismic activity by helping him treat the water and separate the oils and so many of the solids that – there’s so many different pieces, I mean different aspects that are in that water that can clog up a well and cause them to use excessive pressure disposing of the waste in the well.
So, without getting too technical or scientific, we’re able to help the disposal well operator be much more efficient in his operations while having a positive environmental impact. And yet, we also have a version of the same best practices model, if you will that can be set up right at the drilling rig had and we can treat the water and recycle much of the waste right there at the drilling site without it having to be trucked anywhere. So, we’re reducing trucking by 80% to 90% in many cases.
Mark: And, you know, in last two years we visited hundreds of operators and hundreds of frack sites in the U.S. and nobody has yet had this problem licked. There are some operators out there and have pieces of this problem solved such as putting in pipelines that are used in trucking. But, you know, if you’re a community or if you’re an operator or if you’re a disposal well and you’re looking at trying to do something, you want to part with them with on a proof of concept. So, and you do this by partnering with them instead of trying to sell them something. Is that correct?
Thomas: That’s – I absolutely. And we like to call them pilot projects because every operator has their own dynamics, every formation, every shell formation has its own dynamics and these dynamics were also changing from year to year as the technology advances in other, you know, elements of the industry. So, this is very much an evolving industry or an evolving issue that needs to be constantly upgraded with best practices introduced basically yearly – in a yearly manner. And so, pilot projects is an ideal way to help operators find those operating efficiencies that they’re looking for and reduced their overall disposal cost.
Mark: Yes. So, if you’re an operator or if you’re a municipality or if you’re a company or disposal well company and you’re looking to maybe reach out to you and understand what these pilot programs look like, what’s the best way to get in touch with you?
Thomas: I suggest they send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and they can also go to our website, NewFrackers.org. They can even call my cellphone directly if they want which I hopefully you’ll put up on the…
Mark: We’re not going to put. No, no, no, we’re not going to put your cellphone number out there. We will put your e-mail with your website link.
Mark: There’s a few strange people that follow me online. So, and then also, if you’re a private company that has no interest in actually – or has no need to dispose of water, but you have an interest in helping the planet, that’s what we’re doing, we’re partnering with you so the same companies could reach out to you to actually partner to support you with your nonprofit?
Thomas: Yeah, of course. It’s like a nonprofit in many ways. We’re going after grants and different types of funding to help launch these pilot programs. Absolutely, there’s a lot of different ways that landowners can support the project, industry professionals can help as well as the energy companies themselves and of course not to mention the disposal well operators.
Thomas: We can all work together. There’s really – it’s a unique collaboration and I’m really proud of the way it’s come together and with people like yourself joining to support it.
Mark: Yeah. And, Thomas I’m very proud to play a part in this, so we’re going to continue to play a part.
So, Thomas I really appreciate your time today.
Thomas: Yes. Yes, me too. I really appreciate you allowing me to explain what we’re doing.
Mark: Yeah. So, folks reach out to Thomas, connect with him see if you can support his nonprofit The New Frackers Project because it’s just a good thing.
Hopefully this helped. We will see you next time.
— Mark LaCour (@Mark_LaCour) September 5, 2015