Intrepid Recycling & Blending Project with Robert Baldridge
Robert E. Baldridge has served as our Senior Vice President – New Mexico since December 2019. Mr. Baldridge served as General Manager of our New Mexico operations from July 2010 to December 2019 and Manager of Mines since our formation in 2007. Previously Mr. Baldridge served as Mine Manager of Intrepid Mining from 2003 until its dissolution at the time of our IPO in 2008. Mr. Baldridge has been an integral part of building Intrepid’s water, brine and oil & gas business.
Robert can you describe Intrepid’s water business in New Mexico?
Intrepid and its predecessor companies have been in the potash mining business in New Mexico for almost 100 years. Mining potash requires water resources, and consequently Intrepid holds significant water rights in New Mexico. When these water rights are not fully utilized by the mining operation, Intrepid is able, through the State Engineer, to permit further beneficial use in other industries. One of the industries that Intrepid serves is oil and gas.
How is excess water provided by Intrepid used by the oil and gas industry?
An oil and gas producer drills unconventional wells…that means, wells where hydrocarbons are trapped in low-permeability source rock. In order to release the oil and gas deposits, producers use a procedure called hydraulic fracturing, where a mix of sand and water-based solution are injected into the rock. This injected mixture increases permeability of the rock and enhances oil and gas recovery. In additional to providing source water to the oil and gas industry, Intrepid has recently expanded services to include produced water treatment, often called recycling, and blending.
What do you mean by recycling and blending?
During the completion and production of an oil and gas well, a significant volume of formation water is produced. This water is typically disposed in permitted underground disposal wells. Intrepid, with its strategic partner Select Energy, has begun a process of taking volumes of produced water, removing impurities, and blending with source water provided to producers. This presents both an environmental and potential economic savings.
How is this blending process environmentally friendly?
By reusing produced water, we can transform a waste product into a valued commodity that conserves source water reserves.
Can recycled water entirely replace the need for source water?
No, oil and gas producers need defined quantities of water at defined times in specific locations during the course of a well completion and frack. It is impossible to always meet these requirements exclusively with recycled water. But every barrel of recycled water that is blended into a source water stream represents reduced waste.
How do oil and gas producers feel about using recycled water in their well completions?
We have found that producers are very supportive of water recycling and blending as long as they are able to meet their defined requirements and it is equitable in their cost structure. Many producers recognize the sustainability value in the reuse of produced water.
How do Intrepid stakeholders feel about the blending and recycling program?
Intrepid’s board and shareholders are highly supportive of our recycling and blending initiative. We promote situations where the company can prosper by doing the right thing and advance the sustainability of the industries we participate in.