WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX) received two awards in Colorado today for its water management practices and role in advancing modifications to a drilling rig that can now be deployed in tight, narrow canyons. “Our position in the state’s Piceance Basin is unique in the industry, driven by the fact that we are in the geologic core of the basin and have pioneered many technological firsts that have made us the leading, most cost-efficient producer here,” said Ralph Hill, WPX chief executive officer. “Our employees relentlessly explore ideas and find new ways to improve our business. Today, our total production in the state provides enough fuel to meet the energy needs of more than 3 million homes per day. “This is also an area where we are ideally suited to rapidly increase our natural gas production in the right price environment,” Hill added. WPX operates more than 4,000 natural gas wells across 212,000 net acres in western Colorado where the company averaged 712 million cubic feet per day of net natural gas production and 30,000 barrels per day of NGL production during the second-quarter. The honors mark the seventh and eighth for WPX from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission over the past five years. The company also received special recognition in 2005 for 10 consecutive years of outstanding operations. WPX recycles the water produced from its wells in the Piceance Basin to hydraulically fracture and complete future wells. In 2010 and 2011, the company made multi-million-dollar investments in new technology and infrastructure at its water treatment facilities in Rulison, Colo. and Parachute, Colo. The COGCC recognized these investments and other measures, which have helped WPX reduce its water-handling costs in the basin by 60 percent and water-hauling traffic by 95 percent. WPX also expects new technology at the two facilities to reduce air emissions by as much as 1,200 tons per year.