New Technology Could Reduce Truck Traffic - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

New Technology Could Reduce Truck Traffic

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The Bakken oil boom is still in the early stages of development.

And as companies learn more about it, new technologies continue emerging that could improve oil field operations.

The latest technology could reduce truck traffic in western North Dakota.

Two to four million gallons of water are needed to hydraulically fracture a well. And after it's fracked, 30% of that water flows back up to the surface and has to be trucked to one of the hundreds of disposal well scattered through western North Dakota.

"It is one of the most controversial things we do is citing disposal wells. They don't have the popularity. They don't generate the revenue for the county or the locals that an oil well does and you just have much greater impacts," said Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms.

Some oil field companies have already started recycling that water to use for another frack job.

"The more we recycle, the better we conserve our fresh water resources, and the less saltwater disposal wells we need," said Helms.

But TETRA Technologies is proposing to not only recycle the water, but to transport it through a polyester hose that can extend for miles from one well site to the next.

"It's a very mobile system that you can lay down, over the course of multiple miles, transfer it from one location to the other and pick the system up and go to the next location," said John Novotny, TETRA Technologies.

This mobile technology could also help cut down on truck traffic in oil country.

"By reducing the amount of trucks on the road, you reduce the amount of road repair, you reduce the amount of citations, you reduce the amount of accidents and basically you just make the road safer," said Novotny.

The TETRA hoses can pump fresh water or recycled water.

The TETRA hoses have been used in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, but the technology is new to the Bakken. So we'll have to wait and see if it's successful in North Dakota.

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