In the disposal of saltwater and flowback water from oil and natural gas wells, speed is becoming of the essence because transportation companies are now being paid by the barrel rather than the hour. Instead of using trucks’ on-board vacuum pumps to increase the pressure to push the water out of the 100 barrel tanker trucks – which can take up to 30 minutes – Borejaks Energy Services LLC uses its own pumps to draw the water out of the tankers at a faster rate of approximately 10 barrels per minute. This speeds the unloading process to approximately 10 minutes. It also allows Borejaks to more closely monitor and measure the amount of water unloaded.
Also, to prevent the potential of damaging spills of the water as it is unloaded, the unloading area is on a concrete pad with a catch basin or sump pit to capture any spillage and process it through the facility’s system for proper disposal. “That is an extra, added guarantee for us that we keep the landowner’s and everybody’s property around us as safe and clean as possible,” emphasizes Eric Benavides, operations manager and managing member.
Borejaks Energy Services LLC operates Class 2 injection wells to dispose of the production saltwater that is inherent in the extraction of all oil and gas wells and continues throughout the life of the well. The company also disposes of flowback water that results from the hydraulic fracturing process.
“Most flowback water is treated at the well site before it comes to us,” Benavides says. Any remaining solids such as sand used for fracking and hydrocarbons are removed before Borejaks disposes of the water. ”We deal with the lighter, cleaner water,” he adds. “The cleaner water is needed to prevent clogging of the porous rock layer into which we dispose of the fluids.
“We are not a trucking company,” Benavides explains. Trucking companies are his customers. “We’re set up like a gas station; however, trucks come to us and offload their water.,” he says. “Our facilities are manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure a safe, clean and fully functioning facility at all times.”
The disposal wells are drilled down 5,500 to 6,000 feet into a zone of rock with approximately 20 percent porosity. “There are many layers of rock between the disposal zone and the freshwater zone, which is usually less than 1,000 feet down,” Benavides emphasizes.Borejaks Energy Services LLC is operating three facilities in North Dakota on leased land and will begin construction this year of a fourth. The state has to approve all proposed locations of disposal wells. Borejaks functions as its own construction company and well operator, drilling its own wells and building and operating its facilities.
Benavides is sole owner of Borejaks Energy Services LLC, which operates the wells and is one of the partners in the disposal wells along with other members of a limited partnership. Benavides expects that over the coming years pipelines will bring more saltwater to disposal wells instead of trucks. As an industry leader, Borejaks is currently testing a fully automated unmanned water disposal facility for smaller wells that can dispose of 3,000 barrels daily instead of the 14,000 barrels that the company’s typical well disposes of daily. “It is something that I’ve been investing quite a bit of time, effort and money into, and I look forward to rolling this out by the end of summer,” Benavides concludes.