Shale Gas Boom Creates Market Opportunity To Clean Fracking Water
All this attention has been uncomfortable for the gas companies, but it is forcing them to deal with their wastewater in a more substantial way. In particular, energy companies are interested in onsite water treatment options.
“We predict that the integrated wastewater appliances that emerge in Marcellus will replace off-site disposal as a predominant practice in shale gas drilling,” says the Artemis report.
Water technology companies smell opportunity, and several big companies that have historically handled wastewater disposal in central treatment locations are working on new strategies. They are naturally well positioned to exploit this opportunity as they have standing relationships with the oil and gas companies. However, emerging companies have a unique opportunity right now, says the report:
The report also says that several emerging companies have received interest, funding, and support for product testing and validation from gas companies.
Shenkar told me she expects to see turnkey solutions, the equivalent of a PC or other end-user product. “These products offer a company operating in a remote location a portable solution that will give them the ability to precisely execute the several processes required to clean the water and to validate the results by testing it afterward,” she said. “We believe Marcellus will demand that, and technology can do that better than humans.”
In particular, Shenkar believes companies may be motivated by the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, which set new accountability standards for public companies in the United States.
“Under the act, a CEO could theoretically be thrown in jail for failing to clean up the water to accepted standards,” she said. “The validation component of these turnkey solutions, in particular, is likely to be in demand as industry standards come into focus.”