In 2018, U.S. crude oil production continues to climb. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), production in the Permian Basin accounts for nearly 30 percent of the total U.S. production. Much of that is due to the exploration of resources within the Delaware Basin, a prolific shale formation within the Permian Basin. Production in the Delaware is requiring increased innovation to responsibly provide water for the industry.
Winkler Services controls the water rights under approximately 30,000 acres of the Roark Ranch and adjacent properties, right in the heart of the Delaware Basin in Winkler County. After securing the water rights, Winkler Services priority was to preserve a significant amount of the fresh water in the Pecos Valley Aquifer for drinking water. Two years ago, the company completed a deal with the Midland County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1 to secure six sections of fresh water rights for Midland County. This water is set aside for municipal drinking water in the future to insure fresh water will be available for the communities in Winkler and Midland Counties.
“It was imperative for Winkler Land and the Roark family, as land owners and members of the local community, to responsibly preserve drinking water for future generations. With that goal in mind, it became apparent to us that no one understands the municipal water needs in the area better than Parkhill,” said David Lynch, Managing Partner of Winkler Services. Parkhill, Smith and Cooper helped facilitate the District’s agreement with Winkler Services regarding the development of prime potable water on the northern part of the ranch.
With measures in place to protect the public drinking water, Winkler Services has focused on helping production soar in the Delaware Basin by providing water from the Roark Ranch to the energy companies producing in the area. The successful development of the high capacity wells has been accomplished and proven. More than 30 miles of water conveyance infrastructure and a water station have been placed on the ranch. Now Winkler Services is installing an 18-mile pipeline from the ranch to the west to serve companies with large scale, reliable and consistent water for their oil and gas operations.
The integrated design and construction of the transmission system will include one high volume pump station, 95,000 ft of transmission piping, isolation valves, flow control valves, air/vacuum valves, blow-off assemblies and nine delivery risers.
With temporary lines, the system could deliver water directly to drilling sites located across more than 200,000 acres in the Delaware. The addition of a second phase to the project could provide an additional 14 or 15 miles of transmission line to the south from which more risers would provide water delivery points.
With the amount of activity in the Delaware Basin, the need for water is immediate and robust. Trucking water is expensive and adds to the amount of travel on roadways that are already experiencing higher traffic volumes than ever before. Being able to move this volume of water through the 18-mile pipeline has the potential of reducing over 22,000 miles of truck traffic per day in the area.
Adding to the unique and innovative design of this water transmission line is the use of PVC pipe rather than the HDPE pipe traditionally used in the oilfield. The 24-in. PVC pipe allows the system to deliver water at a maximum flow rate of 250,000 barrels per day (bpd).
“This innovative system is designed to provide flexible delivery of water to meet the ever-changing demands of the oil and gas industry. Teaming with Garney to install the system provided an innovative, comprehensive, reliable, engineered system in a timely manner,” said Jay Edwards, an engineer and Chief Operating Officer for PSC. “We’ve appreciated working with Winkler Services first to preserve drinking water for our communities and now to develop this comprehensive solution to efficiently and safely deliver water to the oilfield.”