Shale

Aqua Infrastructure, Inc., specializes in the planning, permitting, construction and professional management of fresh water pipelines in the Shale industry. Being part of a corporation with more than 125 years of experience in the environmentally sensitive regulated water industry, which revolves around treatment plant, pumps and pipelines, has helped us establish our expertise and reputation and become a part of the most unique pipeline in the Shale industry. Our professional management team provides environmentally friendly options to reduce costs for energy companies.

In 2012 Aqua Infrastructure formed a joint venture with Penn Virginia Resource Partners, L.P. (NYSE: PVR) to construct and manage a pipeline supplying fresh water to natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale in North-Central Pennsylvania. In April 2012 the pipeline became fully operational, marking the first time water was supplied directly to drill sites in the Marcellus Shale without the use of 5,000-gallon tanker trucks. Within two months, the pipeline had already eliminated more than 4,000 water truck trips over rural roadways.

The joint venture, Aqua — PVR Water Services, LLC constructed the 12-inch diameter steel pipeline which parallels the trunk-line of PVR's gathering system in Lycoming County and shares PVR's existing rights-of-way. Each company invested approximately $12 million for construction of the first phase of the project, which is 18 miles long. The joint venture has secured agreements with multiple exploration companies to use the pipeline and has begun construction on Phases II and III. 

Jersey Shore Water Line PVR Portrait
Jersey Shore Water Line PVR Portrait

Bulk Water Stations
Aqua Resources, Inc.  another of Aqua America’s non-regulated subsidiaries, has streamlined the water supply process for the Shale gas industry by developing environmentally and truck-friendly bulk water stations specifically designed completely around the needs of the Marcellus Shale industry in northeastern and western Pennsylvania and Ohio. 

There are two components to the cost of water delivered to drilling sites – the cost of the water and the cost of hauling the water. The larger of the two is almost always hauling. Aqua Resources’ bulk stations can reduce the cost of water-per-truck by reducing the overall wait-time for water. The efficient use of modern technology allows Aqua Resources to efficiently manage withdrawals for this regulatory-sensitive operation.

Aqua Resources’ bulk water stations are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that tracks who is taking water and how much they are taking. Automated registration provides real-time monitoring and tracking controls that can prevent a hauler from inadvertently exceeding their daily limit, saving them from potentially costly regulatory issues. The filling stations also feature high-speed water transfer, quick-connect fill hoses and other amenities designed to speed the safe transfer of water to haulers.

Aqua Resources, currently operates five bulk water filling stations in northeastern and western Pennsylvania and one in Struthers Ohio.  At these locations, Aqua Resources is a commercial customer of Aqua Pennsylvania and sells the water to bulk water haulers, who fill-up and then transport the water to Marcellus Shale well drilling sites. As demand develops throughout our service territory in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Aqua Resources will make the investment needed to add more stations.  

Aqua Bulk Station Highlights
Fill Stations designed specifically for truck filling

  • Automated operation
  • High flow rates
  • Quick fill connections
  • Can be programmed to shut down after set daily volume is reached
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance for purchasing limits

Reporting, Controls & Compliance

  • Fully automated water use tracking
  • Can track volume by purchaser (i.e. energy company), truck and/or driver
  • Can track volume by day/week/month
  • Detailed, customized reporting available
  • Economical strategically diversified sourcing

Benefits to adding Aqua Resources as a bulk water provider

  • Spreads water sourcing to wider field
  • More bulk water sites equal less risk (i.e. source shutdowns, road closures)
  • More sources equal less lost time waiting for trucks
  • If current sources have more than two trucks waiting in queue, an Aqua bulk water station location could be more economical than paying a truck and driver $100+/hour to wait in line at your fill site.

What is the Marcellus Shale?
The Marcellus Shale is a rock formation that underlies much of Pennsylvania and portions of New York and West Virginia. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Marcellus Shale is believed to hold trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. 

This formation had long been considered too expensive to access until recent advances in drilling technology became available. These new developments center on a horizontal drilling process called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” This process uses more water than traditional natural gas extraction. It is the water intensity of this process and that caused Aqua America to become involved in this business. 

Aqua has been dedicated to sustainable water and wastewater resource management for 125 years.  As both a responsible user of the Pennsylvania’s pristine water resources and a recognized leader in water treatment infrastructure and expertise in the region, Aqua has been repeatedly approached over the past year to participate in the quest for solutions to the substantial water and wastewater challenges presented by the development of the Marcellus Shale. 

As an industry leader in water management, Aqua is committed to the development and implementation of responsible strategies for water supply.

Contact
Tom Rafferty, tfrafferty@aquaamerica.com, 610.645.1064