In recent years, advancements in drilling technology have made it possible to develop gas reserves that are buried deep in the earth, trapped in layers of shale. The hydraulic fracturing process typically used to access these reserves depends on water to displace and transport natural gas to the surface.
Often, gas producers must compete with neighboring industries and municipalities for the available water supply. To get the maximum benefit from the water onhand, reuse of “flowback” water is standard practice. But reusing unfiltered water may reduce a well’s productive life and lower its yield. This presents developers with a problem, as filtering flowback water is a task beyond the abilities of conventional filtration systems.
For several gas producers in Northern Pennsylvania, the solution is an innovative filtration system from Layne Christensen Co.’s Water Technologies Group. Layne’s industrial-strength INTEGRA Mobile Filtration System is capable of filtering where conventional systems fail. The INTEGRA can remove solids down to 5 microns, even in the mineral-laden frac flowback water produced by shale-gas development.
Layne recently deployed INTEGRA automated filtration systems for several gas producers in Northern Pennsylvania to provide for the reuse of frac flowback water in the Marcellus Shale. The automated filter is an important part of Layne’s water management services and to support its total water management services in the oil and gas markets the company has established new offices in both Austin, Texas, and the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
Layne Christensen deployed water management teams, equipped with the INTEGRA Mobile Filtration System  to multiple well sites in northeastern Pennsylvania. The team is using the INTEGRA to manage receiving waste streams through filtration, and distribution of frac water for reuse and disposal. The systems currently in place are successfully monitoring and filtering suspended solids to a 5-micron level, and returning significant volumes of water to producers for reuse.
About the System
The INTEGRA System is a ruggedized, automated, backwashable disk filter capable of processing industrial waters with high-solids content, making this system especially well suited to handle waters with high TDS combined with frac flowback constituents. The INTEGRA operates at high flow rates and can process over 12,000 bbl of frac flowback water per day as part of integrated recycling efforts.
Layne’s water management services are helping operators manage, transfer and recycle frac flowback water in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner. For those waters that cannot be effectively treated and reused, Layne offers zero-liquid discharge through the EVRAS  evaporative crystallization system.
For more detailed information on Layne Water Technologies visit the company website at www.laynewater.com  .