Produced water treatment facility opens in Montana

By The Bakken Magazine Staff | May 09, 2016

Sionix Corp., a water treatment company based in Houston, first started testing its process to clean and recycle Bakken produced water in 2013. Three years later, Sionix has turned to a shuttered Montana oilseed crushing facility to bring its commercial vision for oilfield produced water recycling into reality.

The company recently announced the successful startup of its operations at the former oilseed crushing plant in Culbertson, Montana. The facility is home to Sionix’s proprietary patented dissolved air flotation technology. The system, which also includes chemical pretreatment, water clarification and water filtration, utilizes tiny bubbles to float contaminants to the surface of a wastewater holding tank. The Sionix concept works by taking in produced and flowback water—transported via truck to the facility—and sending the trucks back to a hydraulic fracture site with a brine solution suitable for fracking purposes.

“We are logistically well-positioned to serve customers in the Bakken fields of Montana and North Dakota and meet their quality requirements at a reduced all-in water cost,” said Rex Crick, general manager of Sionix Oilfield Solutions (SOS). The newly formed entity, SOS, was created to build and operate the Culbertson facility through a licensing agreement with Sionix. Steelworks Investments Ltd., a Sionix shareholder, will own 39 percent of SOS after investing roughly $1.365 million to fund the project.

Located on the junction of Montana State Highway and U.S. Highway 2, the facility also houses process equipment, heated tank storage, lab buildings, on-site water wells and multiple truck loading/unloading stations.

In 2013, Clear Water Services, an independent water treating company observed Sionix’s operations near Dickinson and helped ensure the company’s efforts to provide samples to an independent lab were carried out appropriately.