Panel: Innovation is key to beneficial reuse

Midland Reporter-Telegram • Mella McEwen

Infinity Water Solutions CEO Michael Dyson speaks about innovations in the industry during a panel discussion about the evolution of water technologies at the 2023 Permian Basin Water in Energy Conference Wednesday morning at the Midland County Horseshoe Arena and Pavilion in Midland. 

Innovation is key, agreed Mike Dyson, chief executive officer at Infinity Water Solutions, and is key at his company. Collaboration is also important, he added.

“We have collaboration across the board. There’s exciting research here and it’s exciting to see leading organizations like ExxonMobil and Chevron, area leaders. They led the way and helped create an environment where small organizations like Infinity can start.”

As oil and gas producers, water midstream companies and academians seek ways to commercialize produced water, all agree there is one key element leading to the path forward.

“Innovation, at the end of the day, is the heart of the oil and gas industry,” said Whitney Dobson, vice president, beneficial reuse, at Aris during the first panel discussion of the Permian Basin Water in Energy conference. “It’s important we keep innovation at the forefront. Look at the next stage, with beneficial reuse: Innovation is key.”

Jon Moeller, operating project manager with Chevron, said managing the water produced alongside crude and natural gas is critical because of increasing ESG – Environment, Social and Governance – requirements. Communication about a company’s management process must also be done in the right way, he added.

Mark Phan, Permian commercial manager with ExxonMobil, cited cooperation with other operators and water midstream companies on the issue, including efforts to share water across industry.

As technology evolves to clean produced water for use beyond oil and gas applications, it will require capital investment to develop those technologies and establish a regulatory framework, noted Moeller

Said Phan, “As we evaluate technologies, we’ll come up with a comprehensive plan. This requires we really think about how we view water and also think about our operations. We have a dedicated water team that looks at risk management. We need to spread solutions to the industry. We’re engaged with companies as far-reaching as Australia.”

Dobson said the industry needs to look at how to effectively communicate what is being done with the information derived from research, what industry wants pilot projects to achieve and there is a way to treat water to a very clean level. “We need to show how,” she said.

Read the full article at Midland Reporter-Telegram.