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More Oil And Gas Drillers Turn To Water Recycling

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) a¿¿ In a story Nov. 11 about water recycling in fracking operations, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Pure Stream is based in Walton, Ky. Pure Stream Technologies is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A corrected version of the story is below:

More oil and gas drillers turn to water recycling

In prosperous oil patch, drillers turn to water recycling to address drought, waste challenges

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI

Associated Press

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) a¿¿ When the rain stopped falling in Texas, the prairie grass yellowed, the soil cracked and oil drillers were confronted with a crisis. After years of easy access to cheap, plentiful water, the land they prized for its vast petroleum wealth was starting to dry up.

At first, the drought that took hold a few years ago seemed to threaten the economic boom that arose from hydraulic fracturing, a drilling method that uses huge amounts of high-pressure, chemical-laced water to free oil and natural gas trapped deep in underground rocks. But drillers have found a way to get by with much less water: They recycle it using systems that not long ago they may have eyed with suspicion.

"This was a dramatic change to the practices that the industry used for many, many years," said Paul Schlosberg, co-founder and chief financial officer of Water Rescue Services, the company that runs recycling services for Fasken Oil and Ranch in West Texas, which is now 90 percent toward its goal of not using any freshwater for fracturing, or "fracking," as it is commonly known.

Before the drought, "water was prevalent, it was cheap and it was taken for granted," he added.

Just a few years ago, many drillers suspected water recyclers were trying to sell an unproven idea designed to drain money from multimillion dollar businesses. Now the system is helping drillers use less freshwater and dispose of less wastewater. Recycling is rapidly becoming a popular and economic solution for a burgeoning industry.

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