The dramatic decline in oil prices over the second half of 2014 caused a delayed drop in frac activity, from about 2,300 fracs in October 2014 to 1,350 in February 2015. Despite this precipitous decline, the market for water management – from sourcing to disposal – remains strong for those who know how to play the opportunity. As oil and gas companies look for ways to cut back on capital spending, operators turn to new technologies in water treatment to tighten up their water management strategies and lower costs associated with water treatment, transportation, and disposal. Additionally, the space is seeing new regulatory momentum that could usher in stricter oversight on water transportation and disposal, as well as rules that aim to facilitate more extensive water recycling. No single water treatment technology has this market cornered, but players like Saltworks Technologies, WaterTectonics, and BioPetroClean stay afloat by drawing on their expertise to offer incremental improvements on integrated treatment solutions, while centralized facility operators, such as Aquatech and Altela, use conventional technologies to accept wastewater in regions where disposal is not an option and onsite treatment is an expensive alternative.
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