News & Press

News & Press



Company Commences ExcelyteTM Well Maintenance Treatments on 26 New Oil Wells

LITTLE RIVER, S.C., March 5, 2015 – Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd. (OTCBB: IEVM) today announced that it is currently providing Excelyte well maintenance treatments on 106 oil wells. The oil wells being treated are located in the Uinta Basin in Utah and in the Permian Basin in New Mexico. The Company has commenced Excelyte well maintenance treatments on approximately 26 new oil wells since it last provided an update on its oil and gas operations on February 2, 2015. The Company’s progress in addressing environmental concerns in the oil and gas industry was recently highlighted by the Abraham Energy Report, edited by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham.

In addition, the Company announced that David R. LaVance, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Thomas S. Gifford, the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, have been invited to attend the 27th Annual Roth Conference from Monday, March 9, 2015 through Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Mr. LaVance and Mr. Gifford will be available for meetings to provide an overview of the Company’s operations, recent developments, and growth initiatives.

Mr. LaVance, commented, “As we continue to increase the number of oil wells receiving Excelyte well maintenance treatments, we add recurring revenue which moves us closer to becoming a profitable company.” He added that, “Attending the 27th Annual Roth Conference provides us an excellent venue to discuss our business with a large array of potential investors and companies with synergistic products and services.”

The Company believes that Excelyte reduces the level of hydrogen sulfide gas in oil wells faster than competing products, primarily due to Excelyte’s ability to rapidly kill sulfate-reducing bacteria. The Company also believes that Excelyte kills bacteria that corrode well equipment and well linings, which should lower well repair costs for oil producers. Further, Excelyte is easier to administer and more environmentally friendly than competing products due to its naturally occurring properties.

Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic and corrosive chemical that frequently appears in oil and gas production. Excelyte acts as a hydrogen sulfide scavenger and as a biocide that kills sulfate- reducing bacteria, which are known to produce hydrogen sulfide. The Company’s down-hole well maintenance operations consist of treating oil production wells that test positive for hydrogen sulfide with regularly scheduled applications of Excelyte.



Company Secures Additional Funding to Expand Oil and Gas Operations

LITTLE RIVER, S.C., February 13, 2015 – Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd. (OTCBB: IEVM) today announced that it closed on a $1,960,000 financing through the sale of its common stock. The company will use the proceeds from this financing to continue its expansion of its oil and gas operations in the Uinta Basin in Utah and the Permian Basin in New Mexico and it expects to add an additional production facility in the Permian Basin in Texas.
David R. LaVance, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The success of our ExcelyteTM well maintenance treatments over the past several months has created a large opportunity for our business. This financing will provide us with the capital we need to grow our oil and gas operations and to build our team in order to meet our market opportunities.”

Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic and corrosive chemical that frequently appears in oil and gas production. Excelyte acts as a hydrogen sulfide scavenger and as a biocide that kills sulfate- reducing bacteria, which are known to produce hydrogen sulfide. The Company’s down-hole well maintenance operations consist of treating oil production wells that test positive for hydrogen sulfide with regularly scheduled applications of Excelyte.



ExcelyteTM Well Maintenance Treatments Continue to Significantly Reduce Levels of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas in Oil Wells in Uinta and Permian Basins

LITTLE RIVER, S.C., February 2, 2015 – Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd. (OTCBB: IEVM) today announced that it is providing Excelyte well maintenance treatments on approximately sixty oil wells in the Uinta Basin in Utah and twenty oil wells in the Permian Basin in New Mexico. The growth in Utah represents an increase of approximately 200% from the twenty oil wells that the Company was treating at the end of November 2014. The results in New Mexico constitute an increase of approximately 400% over the four oil wells that the Company was treating when it commenced operations in this area at the end of November 2014. Based on our current pricing and historical volume requirements, the Company estimates that these 80 wells could generate approximately $510,000 of revenue over the next twelve months. The Company currently is also in discussions with four new customers in the Uinta Basin and three new customers in the Permian Basin regarding the commencement of Excelyte well maintenance treatments.

David R. LaVance, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The growth in the number of oil wells that we are treating in both the Uinta and Permian Basins demonstrates the effectiveness and customer satisfaction regarding our Excelyte well maintenance treatments. All indications suggest continued use and growth will occur in our first two basins and there should be wide acceptance in the overall market as expansion to other basins likely occurs”.
Mr. LaVance further commented, “We believe that the recent decrease in oil prices has had a positive effect on our business, as oil producers reduce emphasis on drilling new wells and focus on making existing wells more efficient and profitable. Excelyte well maintenance treatments should lower oil production costs since Excelyte reduces the level of hydrogen sulfide gas in oil wells. We believe Excelyte acts faster than competing products due to, in part, Excelyte’s ability to rapidly kill sulfate-reducing bacteria. Excelyte also kills bacteria that corrode well equipment and well linings which should lower well repair costs for an oil producer. Further, Excelyte is easier to administer and more environmentally friendly than competing products due to its naturally occurring properties”.

Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic and corrosive chemical that frequently appears in oil and gas production. Excelyte acts as a hydrogen sulfide scavenger and as a biocide that kills sulfate- reducing bacteria, which are known to produce hydrogen sulfide. The Company’s down-hole well maintenance operations consist of treating oil production wells that test positive for hydrogen sulfide with regularly scheduled applications of Excelyte.

Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd. Expands Board Of Directors


Company Adds Three Experienced Executives to Assist in Strategic and Corporate Development

LITTLE RIVER, S.C., Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd. (OTCBB: IEVM) today announced that it has added three new members to its board of directors to assist the Company in its continued strategic and corporate development. Each of these individuals has significant experience in working with publicly-traded and growth-stage companies. The new additions to the board are Michael D. Donnell, Paul S. Clayson and Anthony Giordano, III.

Mr. Donnell has over 25 years of experience in leading publicly-traded and private technology- based companies ranging in size from start-ups to organizations with over 1,500 employees. He has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Cellular One, a provider of cellular phone service; New Global Telecom, a wholesale hosted provider of VoIP services for commercial accounts; Sutus, an information technology and telephony appliance manufacturer; and Zi Corp., a mobile phone software development company. Mr. Donnell has also served on the board of directors for Nexaira Wireless and eSoft.

Mr. Clayson has over 30 years of experience as a business owner, strategic planning expert, financial and investment strategist and a senior political advisor. He currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Valuation Impact, a global executive mentoring and consulting company focused on helping start-up and growth-stage companies establish and maintain value and markets, with clients on three continents, in multiple countries and across multiple industries. He also currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of CONVERT2, a start-up energy company focused on conversion of fleet vehicles from fossil fuels to natural gas and other alternative fuels, and serves on the board of directors of four companies in energy and software technology and nutritional products development and distribution. Mr. Clayson has previously served as Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HzO, Inc., an advanced nano-materials technology company that makes electronic devices water resistant; as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of nCoat, Inc., an award-winning nanotechnology materials development and manufacturing company; and as President and Chief Operating Officer of Sequoia Pacific Research Company. Mr. Clayson has served as Chief of Staff to two United States Congressmen, and served the White House as a lead advance agent to two United States Presidents and their Vice Presidents.

Mr. Giordano has over 25 years of experience in the commercial banking industry and currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Colonial American Bank. Mr. Giordano has previously served as the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Central Jersey Bancorp, a publicly-traded company that had its stock listed on the NASDAQ Global Market. Mr. Giordano has also served as a Real Estate Banking Officer and Senior Accountant/Financial Analyst at PNC Bank and in various positions at Shadow Lawn Savings Bank, including Budget and Financial Planning Manager and Financial Analyst.

In conjunction with the addition of the above-noted three new members to the board of directors, the Company announced that Valgene L. Dunham, Ph.D., has retired from the Company’s board of directors. The Company now has seven members on its board of directors.

David R. LaVance, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “I am excited about the additions to our board of directors. Each of these individuals bring a tremendous amount of experience to the Company which will be extremely important as we continue to grow the Company and expand our corporate and strategic initiatives. I would also like to thank Dr. Dunham for his many years of service on the Company’s board of directors.”



Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Discusses Company’s Activities for 2014 to Date and Provides Update on the Company’s Business Strategy

LITTLE RIVER, S.C., October 9, 2014 – Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd. (OTCBB: IEVM), announced today that it posted a letter from David R. LaVance, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, on its website, This letter provides an overview of IET’s 2014 corporate activities and achievements to date as well as an update on the IET’s business strategy. The letter is set forth below:

Dear Fellow Stockholders:

I am writing to update you on the progress that Integrated Environmental Technologies has made since the beginning of 2014. There has been considerable momentum building in the company’s transformation from being a development company to a revenue-producing one.

Oil and Gas

As I indicated in my last letter to stockholders in January 2014, the oil and gas market is a large, open market for our Excelyte™ product. We currently segment our activities in the oil and gas business into three main categories:

Well Maintenance – focuses on using Excelyte as a hydrogen sulfide scavenger to significantly reduce or essentially eliminate hydrogen sulfide in operating wells and related equipment;

Drilling and Completions – focuses on using Excelyte as a biocide to significantly reduce the amount of bacteria present in water before the water is used in hydraulic fracturing; and

Water Remediation – focuses on using Excelyte as a hydrogen sulfide scavenger and as a biocide to treat water after it is used in hydraulic fracturing in order to remove bacteria so that the water can either be re-used in hydraulic fracturing or disposed.

To date, the majority of our efforts have focused on well maintenance. Hydrogen sulfide is one of the leading threats to oilfield worker safety, claiming lives every year because of its toxicity at very low levels of concentration. A particular emphasis for oil and gas producers is controlling the level of hydrogen sulfide at or near the well head.

We originally focused our attention on Utah’s Uinta Basin, in order to generate test results and demonstrate success of the product in the market. These test results confirmed that Excelyte is effective as a hydrogen sulfide scavenger and as a biocide. The results show that Excelyte reduces the level of hydrogen sulfide in oil wells faster than competing products, which we believe is due to Excelyte’s ability to kill sulfide-producing bacteria rapidly. In addition, Excelyte’s naturally occurring properties make it easier to administer and more environmentally friendly than competing products.

Over the past few months we worked with our customers and prospects in the Uinta Basin to introduce Excelyte as a down-hole well maintenance application. IET developed appropriate treatment protocols and application methods, establishing the necessary delivery channels and gaining approval from customers to commence well maintenance treatments. In short, Excelyte has worked, and worked well, in the treatment of oil wells. In each of the oil wells that we treated with Excelyte, we significantly reduced the level of hydrogen sulfide present. We believe that our Excelyte treatment protocol can significantly reduce or essentially eliminate hydrogen sulfide from our customers’ oil wells. One customer has expanded Excelyte well maintenance treatments to eleven oil wells and has approximately 440 additional oil wells with hydrogen sulfide problems that we could treat in the Uinta Basin. If our customer requests that we treat each of these oil wells, under our current treatment protocol and pricing structure we could generate sales of approximately $3,000,000 on an annual basis.

The success with our Excelyte well maintenance treatments has led us to begin expansion of our operations in the Uinta Basin, and to initiate marketing in other basins. In the Uinta Basin, we are expanding our presence, acquiring additional space and increasing production capability. We estimate that there are over 5,000 wells in the Uinta Basin that would benefit from the regular use of Excelyte as part of a well maintenance program.

In addition, we are in the process of establishing a production facility in order to service a prospective customer that requested we commence Excelyte well maintenance treatments on its oil and gas wells in the Permian Basin (New Mexico and Texas). We expect to be operational in the Permian Basin before year’s end. We also are evaluating other basins, such as the Williston Basin (North Dakota) and the Piceance Basin (Colorado).

We are currently focused on generating recurring revenue through the sale of Excelyte, but as we grow and improve our cash flow, we will look to establish additional revenue streams such as providing delivery and pumping services to our customers. We continue to believe that the three oil and gas market segments noted above potentially represent a $50 million market opportunity in the Uinta Basin and a $2.5 billion market opportunity in the United States.

All of this activity will require an expansion of our labor force and the investment into production depots. To that end, we recently hired Bradley W. Rockman as the President and General Manager of our Oil and Gas Division. Brad is based in Denver, Colorado and has over 35 years of experience in the industry, selling and supplying chemicals both domestically and internationally. We expect additional hires to be forthcoming as expansion occurs.

Healthcare and Food Production

We continue to remain interested in the healthcare market and food production market, but our emphasis on oil and gas has required a dedication of a majority of our resources in that direction. We have ongoing discussions in each of these markets with potential distribution partners regarding the sale of Excelyte.

Excelyte kills a wide range of bacteria and viruses including, Mycobacterium bovis (Tuberculosis), Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and H1NI influenza virus (swine flu). Excelyte also kills hospital-acquired pathogens such as Clostridium difficile spores (C. diff) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) as well as two carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) known as Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) and New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM). Further, the high-risk blood-borne pathogen human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the food-borne pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli (E. coli) are killed by Excelyte.

In March 2014, we received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to market a new Excelyte product called Excelyte VET – which can be used to prevent Canine distemper. Canine distemper is highly contagious and is the leading cause of infectious disease deaths in dogs worldwide. The new product registration (EPA Registration #82341-4) also allows the company to market Excelyte VET to prevent the spread of Canine parvovirus and Bordetella bronchiseptica. We are currently working with a distribution partner as it prepares for the market launch of Excelyte VET.

In addition, during June 2014, Carson Tahoe Health Systems published the results of its independent study showing the effectiveness of Excelyte in reducing the amount of bacteria present in a hospital setting. The study also highlighted Excelyte’s naturally occurring properties, which do not corrode hospital equipment like more commonly used chemicals.

Focus for Remainder of 2014

For the remainder of 2014, we will continue to dedicate the majority of our resources to the sale of Excelyte in the oil and gas market. In healthcare, we will seek distribution partners for Excelyte as planned, but will ask such partners to contribute to the funding of the development of Excelyte in this market so that we may focus our resources on the oil and gas market. Likewise, in food production, we will look to recruit distributors for Excelyte, thereby utilizing outside resources to expand into this market.

Our overall corporate objective is growth, namely revenue growth, and we believe that continued expansion into the oil and gas market provides us the best approach to achieving our goal. We want to again express our appreciation to our stockholders, customers and our team at IET.


David R. LaVance
Chairman, President &
Chief Executive Officer

Integrated Environmental Technologies Expands Well Maintenance Treatments


Originally reported by Environmental Leader

Integrated Environmental Technologies has begun well maintenance treatments utilizing its flagship product Excelyte on five additional oil producing wells for an existing customer, and now is treating an aggregate of 11 wells for this customer.

Excelyte is non-toxic, fracking disinfectant solution designed to leave no lasting impact on the environment and create a safer workplace by eliminating hydrogen sulfide, the leading cause of gas inhalation deaths among oil and gas workers, Integrated Environmental Technologies says.

The company says it is in the process of scheduling well maintenance treatments for additional fracking wells operated by this customer in the Uinta Basin with the goal of treating up to approximately 300 other similar oil producing wells that the customer operates in the Uinta Basin within the next year.

Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic and corrosive chemical that frequently appears in oil and gas production. Excelyte acts as a hydrogen sulfide scavenger and as a biocide that kills sulfur-reducing bacteria, which are known to produce hydrogen sulfide. The company’s down-hole well maintenance operations consist of treating oil production wells that contain hydrogen sulfide with regularly scheduled applications of Excelyte.

Read more:

Scientists: Bad Fracking Wells Taint Water


Originally reported on MSN News.

WASHINGTON — Faulty fracking wells are to blame for drinking water contamination in Texas and Pennsylvania, according to new findings from researchers at five universities.

“People’s water has been harmed by drilling,” said Robert Jackson, a professor of environmental and earth sciences at Stanford University. “In Texas, we even saw two homes go from clean to contaminated after our sampling began.”

Construction problems with natural gas wells are responsible for the tainted water, the researchers found. That includes poor casing and failed cement jobs meant to seal the steel drilling pipe from surrounding earth and rocks and prevent water contamination.

The researchers said there was no evidence the water was contaminated by the process of hydraulic fracturing itself, known as fracking. Fracking is when high-pressure water and chemicals are pumped deep underground to break shale rock and release oil and natural gas.

That’s an important finding in the debate over fracking, which has unleashed an American energy boom but also allegations of pollution and health problems.

“The good news is that most of the issues we have identified can potentially be avoided by future improvements in well integrity,” said Thomas Darrah, an assistant professor of earth science at Ohio State University. He led the research while working as a research scientist at Duke University.

The researchers from Duke, Ohio State, Stanford, Dartmouth and the University of Rochester discovered clusters of methane contamination in drinking water wells along the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and the Barnett Shale in north Texas, near Fort Worth.

Methane, the principal component in natural gas, is not known to be toxic, but it can be explosive and is a potent greenhouse gas.

The researchers found the Texas water contamination in southern Parker County. Their findings challenge the position of Texas oil and gas regulators that there is no evidence to connect reports of rising methane in several local wells to natural gas production.

Ramona Nye, spokeswoman for the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees drilling, said in an email that she has no comment at this point.

“Our staff is currently reviewing the study, which will take a period of time to complete,” Nye said.

A spokesman for Fort Worth driller Range Resources said his company also has not had a chance to study the findings, released Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Range Resources has denied allegations that it was responsible for methane contamination in Parker County.

“The extensive testing conducted by Range and the Texas Railroad Commission prove that the two Range wells could not have been the source of the gas in any water wells, nor did any other aspects of our work,” said company spokesman Matt Pitzarella in an email.

The university researchers said they analyzed 20 drinking water wells overlying the Barnett Shale of Texas and found contamination in five of them. They said the contamination likely wasn’t from the Barnett Shale itself, but rather the shallower Strawn formation.

The Barnett Shale and Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale are at the center of a fracking boom that’s made the United States into the world’s largest natural gas producer.

The researchers used noble gas and hydrocarbon tracers to analyze more than 130 water wells in the two states over the past two years, focusing on areas of suspected contamination.

They said the “novel combination” of tracers let them distinguish between naturally occurring methane and contamination caused by fracking wells.

“This is the first study to provide a comprehensive analysis of noble gases and their isotopes in groundwater near shale gas wells,” said Ohio State’s Darrah.

The “Hydro” In Hydraulic Fracturing – A Closer Look At Frac Water


Originally published on on August 7th, 2014
View the Original Article

While the shale revolution involves many advanced technologies, the entire effort is underpinned by two core methodologies—horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Without either, the shale revolution would simply not have occurred.

The EIA recently reported that more than 750 Tcf of technically recoverable shale gas and 24 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil resources currently in exist in discovered shale plays. It can’t be overstated that the key to accessing these resources is a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

In fact, absent these technologies the US would lose 45% of domestic natural gas production and 17% of oil production within only five years.

Water is the number one consumable in the fracing process, and its importance is rising as unconventional drilling spreads. Depending on the basin and the geological formation, a typical shale gas well requires approximately 3-5 million gallons of water to drill and fracture.

Most of the water is used during the fracing process itself, with large volumes of water pumped into the well with chemicals and sand to break rocks with nano-darcy permeability and enable gas extraction. The remainder of the water is utilized during the drilling stage of the production lifecycle, with water being the major component of the drilling fluids.

3-5 million gallons of water per well sounds like a large volume. And it is. Indeed, the demand for freshwater is an issue of growing importance, especially in arid and semi-arid US shale and tight oil plays. A 2012 Ceres study found that 47% of oil and gas wells are located in high or extremely high water-stressed regions, such as the West Texas Permian Basin.

That said, recently voiced fears of freshwater depletion due to fracing fail to put the O&G industry’s use in the context of use in other industries, which can consume much more.

Increased controversy around frac demand for fresh water has created intense competition for sources and more scrutiny from municipalities on water withdrawal permits. The pressure on companies to become more efficient in both use and transportation is increasing as unconventional drilling practices spread.

How – and how much – water is used in the fracing process? How does fracing’s thirst compare to water usage in other industries? And are there new alternatives to fresh water in fracing? The rest of this post is dedicated to exploring these critical questions about fracing’s number one ingredient.

How Much Water?

According to Fracfocus (a voluntary chemical registry for disclosing fracturing fluid additives founded in 2011), water and sand comprise more than 99.5% of the fluid used to hydraulically fracture a well. Water serves as the main carrier fluid in hydraulic fracturing.

Multiple layers of cement and metal casing are placed around the wellbore during well completion. After the well is completed, a fluid comprised of water, sand and chemicals is injected under high pressure to crack the shale, increasing the permeability of the rock and thereby easing the flow of natural gas.

Because the multi-stage fracturing of a single horizontal shale gas well can use several million gallons of water, it is critical that large quantities of relatively fresh water be reasonably available. The quality of the water is very important because impurities can reduce the efficiency of the additives used in the process.

Water usage varies with horizontal lateral length and number of frac stages. Volumes pumped can also vary with the geological characteristics of the play. For example, the Haynesville Shale requires on average 1 million gallons of water during the drilling phase compared to 60,000 gallons for the Fayetteville shale. But on average, 5 million gallons of water are required to drill and frac a “typical” well, the equivalent of 1,000 water truckloads. The fracing stage is the most water intensive, using up to 90% of the total water use.

A Closer Look At The Data

A Ceres research paper published in February 2014 reported data accumulated by FRACFocus that 97 billion gallons of water were used in the fracing process from January 2011 through May 2013. Nearly half of this quantity of water was used in Texas, followed by Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado and North Dakota.

Among more than 250 operating companies reporting to FRACfocus in the US, Chesapeake had the largest amount of water use reported (nearly 12 billion gallons), followed by EOG Resources, XTO Energy and Anadarko. Not surprisingly, these are the independent E&Ps that have “figured out” the shale equation and are leading the US shale revolution.

Overall, Halliburton handled the largest volume of fracing water. At almost 25 billion gallons, Halliburton accounted for over a quarter of the US’s frac water usage. Halliburton was followed by Schlumberger and Baker Hughes. Again no surprise, as the Big 3 service companies run more horsepower than anyone in the industry.

The report showed that almost half of the wells fraced since 2011 were in regions with high or extremely high water stress, and over 55% were in regions experiencing drought. In Texas, which has the highest concentration of fracing activity in the US, more than half of the wells assessed by Ceres were in high or extremely high water stress regions. Over 36% of the 39,294 fraced wells in the study overlay areas experiencing groundwater depletion. This overlap has created a challenge for the industry as local regulators charged with water withdrawal permits have become more protective of water supplies.

Case Study: Water Use In Bakken Fracing

North Dakota is an especially drought-prone area, so the question of water usage in fracing is of paramount importance to Bakken operators. The Bakken is one of the busiest unconventional plays in the US, and one of the thirstiest. That said, frac water consumption in the Bakken was only 6% of irrigation consumption in the state during 2012.

The average fracing process for a single well in North Dakota requires approximately seven acre-feet of water. In 2012, records show that 12,629 acre-feet of surface and ground water were used for fracing purposes. That amounts to only 4% of the state’s consumptive water use and is dwarfed by irrigation, municipal, and power general usage.

Another interesting fact is that one day of the average daily flow of the Missouri River at Bismarck (45,480 acre-feet) is enough water to frac 6,497 wells, or 87% of all the wells that have been fraced in North Dakota.

Context Is Key: Comparatively Speaking…

The importance of discussions about the volume of water used in various industries is driven home by the fact that roughly 34% of US public water supply comes from groundwater resources, while the remainder comes from surface water bodies such as lakes, reservoirs and rivers.

Thermoelectric generation- technologies such as coal, natural gas and nuclear, which use heat to produce steam- represent approximately 40% of the freshwater withdrawals in the US.

But the large volume of water used by power plants tends not to attract the degree of criticism as its use in fracing. The relative newness of fracing compared to coal and natural gas, together with the proximity of many wells to residential areas, makes fracing more of a target.

A cost-benefit analysis pepared by the Texas Water Board took a look at the water used by fracing versus the economic benefits of the practice. The study concluded that hydraulic fracturing represents less than 1% of total water use in Texas, while providing in excess of 10% of Texas’ cumulative economic output.

Is Natural Gas Use In Power Generation Actually Saving Water?

In addition to the amount of water used in fracing contrasted to that of other thermoelectric operations, a recent UT study indicated that the water saved by shifting a power plant from coal to natural gas is 25 to 50 times as great as the volume of water used in hydraulic fracturing to extract the natural gas.

In other words, short-term depletion is converted to long-term conservation.

Bridget Scanlon, senior research scientist at UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology, which coordinated the 2013 study, said, “The bottom line is that boosting natural gas production and using more natural gas in power generation makes our electric grid more drought resilient.”

Currently, approximately one-third of Texas power plants are Natural Gas Combined Cycle plants, which consume about a third as much water as coal steam turbine plants.

Yes, it requires a lot of water to extract natural gas; but coal energy sourcing consumes much much more H2O. We can actually save water by converting from coal to natural gas.

Four Innovative Freshwater Alternatives in Fracing

1. Brackish Water

A recent study on water use for fracing by scientists at the Bureau for Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin found that 30% of the water used for fracing in the Midland, Texas area of the Permian Basin was brackish in 2011. In North Texas’s Barnett shale, the study says brackish water use was 3%. Brackish water’s use in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale was 20%.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick said at the time, “We’re just at the beginning of it, so I think it’s to be determined how far it goes, but I think that brackish water is an important piece.”

Producers are considering the wider use of brackish water especially in drought-prone areas such as the Permian Basin. Apache Corp, for example, is already fracing with brackish water on some of its Permian Basin spreads. Cal Cooper, Apache’s manager of special projects, said in an interview with Npr last year that brackish water “has moderately saline water, so it’s not as salty as seawater, but we pump quite a bit of that.” Apache also used “produced water,” which is groundwater with an even higher amount of dissolved solids that comes to the surface during oil and gas production. Cooper says that Apache mixes the produced and brackish water together, so “we are able to eliminate the need for freshwater to do hydraulic fracturing.”

However, fracing with brackish water presents several challenges that drillers are only beginning to address.

First, fracing with brackish water often requires the removal of chemical elements that can arrest the drilling process by creating problems such as the accretion of sediment in wells. Relatedly, the variation of water quality from site to site means that drillers need to adapt the formula of chemicals they mix into water for fracing based on the properties of each well.

There are also the related issues of accessibility and cost, as some brackish reservoirs lie deeper than freshwater resources, thus increasing the costs of drilling a well.

Additionally, it takes years to assess how brackish water, together with the underground water that lies alongside oil and gas, affects the long-term productivity of an oil or gas well.

Finally, the aforementioned UT study observed that “use of brackish water in areas with limited fresh water supplies could compete with conventional users.”

2. From The Hospital To The Oilfield: Excelyte

South-Carolina-based Integrated Environmental Technologies (IET) originally developed Excelyte as an EPA-approved solution to serve as a final surface cleaner to eliminate hospital-acquired infections, and then to prevent foodborne illnesses in food production.

Excelyte’s main active ingredient is hypochlorous acid, which is a naturally occurring molecule in the human body that combats infection.

The solution is now being tested in New Mexico and Utah, Forbes recently reported, in its first attempted application in the oil and gas sector. IET’s CEO David LaVance said that several well-known companies are using the product, but he did not identify the companies to Forbes.

IET claims that mixing water with Excelyte’s bacteria and sulfur-fighting properties instead of toxic chemicals allows for twice as much wastewater to be recovered for reuse in fracing instead of using fresh water.

Excelyte took more than five years to develop into a substance suitable for production in industrial quantities, and it is designed to leave no environmental footprint.

LaVance told Forbes, “Our product persists for only 90 days and then it disintegrates…It’s not underground for very long and things go back to normal after that. So it’s a quick-acting biocide.”

Utah is among the states that have expressed early interest in the solution, where the product is already in the pilot-testing phase. John Baza, director of the Oil, Gas and Mining Division in Utah, told Forbes, “If companies are looking at this product as a way to prevent some of those things from happening, we’re certainly in favor of it…We would encourage that kind of creative and innovative thinking.”

3. GASFRAC’s LPG Fracing Treatment

Calgary-based GASFRAC Energy Services announced in December 2013 that it had completed a Hybrid LPG fracturing treatment for Terrace Energy in South Texas’ Eagle Ford play. The company is the sole provider of waterless gelled LPG fracing technology in NAM.

GASFRAC identified several advantages of the new technology:

No water is used. It is a Liquefied Petroleum Gas gel that is “as natural to a well as soil is to the earth,” the company says. It improves performance without using water, as it is soluble in formation hydrocarbons.

Safety: GASFRAC developed a zero-oxygen, closed system and specialized equipment that ensures worker safety, eliminates post-job cleanup and requires only minimal flaring that can be decreased to zero given the right recapture facilities.

Increased Production: The ability to rapidly recover 100% of the fracing fluid results in enhanced O&G recovery, longer sustained production, and the ability to recapture, reuse or resell- a highly cost-effective benefit, especially for multi-stage horizontal wells.

4. Propane, CO2 & Nitrogen?

While GASFRAC’s innovation still remains an early-stage technology- burdened by higher initial costs than conventional fracing methods- the concept has recently been considered more seriously, especially as legislators and oil regulators focus on the large volume of water used for fracing wells.

GASFRAC’s innovation has prompted discussions about using other substances like propane, carbon dioxide or nitrogen in stead of water.

Michael Dunkel, the director of sustainable development for Pioneer Natural Resources, commented, “We’ve looked at [propane fracing], and I would say that absolutely our industry is open to all possibilities.”

Fracing, Water & The Future

As noted at the outset of this post, while much hyperbole characterizes the discussion of fracing and water supply, it is essential to recognize the need for new technologies that will enable the continued flourishing of the unconventional revolution.

The pressure to increase efficiencies is high as industry demand for water grows with the development of more wells. However, for the reasons cited throughout this post, we are optimistic that the industry’s fountain of ingenuity will not run dry when it comes to addressing these current challenges. A successful alternative to freshwater in fracing could have a very bright future and go along way to reducing criticism of the shale process.

How a Raleigh entrepreneur is turning a cleaner into a fracking tool


Originally published in the Triangle Business Journal on July 24th, 2014

What started as a Russian anti-bacterial technology is turning into a fracking scum-fighting tool – and it’s all spearheaded by a Raleigh entrepreneur.

Raleigh-based David LaVance is the CEO of Integrated Environmental Technologies, a small, public company that’s putting a twist on what, initially, was intended as a hospital cleanser.

LaVance came on board a few years ago, invited by investors to help stabilize a company using a technology that originally came from Russia.

Specifically, it’s a chemical cleanser based on a molecule with a long name: hypochlorous acid.

“It’s a really simple molecule, but it’s very effective in killing bacteria and viruses,” LaVance explains. “In fact, it’s manufactured inside the human body as part of the immune defense system.”

But there’s a big problem: It’s hard to keep in concentration for industrial applications because the chlorine “tends to gas off.”

That’s where IET comes in, with a technology that helps keep the vital chlorine in the solution. LaVance says the solution can kill 99.9999 percent of bacteria. It’s already being used in hospitals to help disinfect surfaces.

But LaVance is thinking bigger.

“I said, holy smokes, this company has something that kills all these super bugs,” he says. He saw a market he thinks could be bigger than hospitals: Oil and gas. “Everybody is worried about toxicity. … The number one thing about oil and gas is the tremendous amounts of water that it uses. Most people are not really aware of the millions upon millions of gallons of water that are used.”

Water, typically pumped from lakes and ponds, comes with hitchhikers: Bacteria.
Bacteria is a big problem when it comes to drilling. Without a way to kill it, colonies grow “exponentially,” both deep in the ground and on the surface. Similar to the way bacteria can muck up the hulls of ships, they collect on the metal well casing, causing corrosion.

Killing the bacteria protects that equipment. And the chemical combines with hydrogen sulfide – a poisonous gas that can rise in the well – to make it inert.
The compound, called Excelyte, also makes water “more slippery,” he explains, and disintegrates in 90 days.

The innovation is already being used in more than a dozen wells. And interest is increasing. Plans are in place to open an office in Denver, and the team, which consists of about 12 employees spread across the United States, will likely expand as more miners come on board.

In fracking, a high-pressure fluid is injected into a drilled hole to create fractures that allow natural gas an escape. Last month, Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a bill that would open up North Carolina to fracking, saying it would “spur economic development at all levels of our economy, not just the energy sector.”

While LaVance and his team are an example of that economic development, they still haven’t solved what some environmentalists say is the larger issue – disposal of wastewater. Another Raleigh company, however, is exploring ways to filter hazardous materials from that water: Tethis. And it’s using a proprietary, salt-sucking sponge in its efforts.

IET has a market cap of $16.85 million, trades under IEVM and is technically headquartered in Little River, South Carolina.

Total revenues for 2013 were $146,366, but LaVance is expecting a big increase as his product expands its reach and fracking takes off.

In addition to his role at IET, he serves as chairman of the board of Hologic, a $7 billion company.