Midland, TX Firm Brings Next-Generation Desalination to Permian Basin

STW Resources has reached an exclusive licensing agreement with Saltech to offer the company’s desalination processing technology throughout the United States.

by Mella McEwen, McClatchy News Service / July 3, 2014
Permian Basin Flickr/SkyTruth

New, green water processing technology is arriving in West Texas.

STW Resources has reached an exclusive licensing agreement with Saltech to offer the Netherlands-based company’s desalination processing technology throughout the United States.

The process, said Stanley Weiner, STW’s chief executive officer, uses no chemicals and requires very little power. “At the end of the process you have clear, fresh water.”

The system, he said, can process brackish water, sea water, flowback or produced water containing up to 300,000 total dissolved solids and provide fresh water, 10# brine for use in drilling operations instead of mud for drilling or fracturing operations, or crystalized salt and minerals.

Weiner noted that reverse osmosis often results in leftover salt that, on the Gulf Coast is put back in the ocean. “This is zero discharge,” he said.

It is technology he has been looking for for years, he said.

“This is what I’ve wanted to do to begin with and now I’ve finally found the technology,” he said.

He plans to offer it to his existing client base of producers and service companies. He has already met with a large Midland-based producer who wants to see a demonstration and Pioneer Natural Resources is using the system to provide water at its complex of facilities on East Highway 80. Legacy Reserves, he said, has two units. The partnership is also providing drinking water for area mancamps and is talking with several municipalities to provide fresh water through the desalination process.

Saltech’s unit at Mentone brought the company to Weiner’s attention and he made a deal with the company. Not only does he have exclusive rights to the U.S., but also Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.

“We can get the costs down, so ultimately we can replace reverse osmosis and not have any chemicals or byproducts,” he said.

STW Resources has already grown to 200 employs, Weiner reports, and the company has expanded beyond offering water analysis, reclamation and remediation services. Its construction unit builds roads, pits, locations and water pond construction as well as evaporation covers for frac ponds. Its STW Energy subsidiary provides turnkey rig washing and STW Holdings can process drilling waste fluids, tank bottoms and oil-based cuttings. The company’s pipeline construction and maintenance division builds and constructs pipelines and flowlines to new wells.

Right now, Weiner said, the pipeline division is his largest but he expects water processing will grow into his most active division, especially with the new desalination technology.

“Saltech is a think tank with brilliant engineers and scientists who are always asking how they can make it better,” he said. “I think this will be a game changer for desalination.”

©2014 the Midland Reporter-Telegram (Midland, Texas)