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Shale driller plans $275M wastewater complex

GREENWOOD, W.Va. — Antero Resources announced Wednesday that it plans to build a $275 million wastewater treatment complex in Doddridge County, helping both the environment and the company’s bottom line.

The proposed complex off Gum Run Road would allow Antero to treat and reuse 60,000 barrels of flowback and produced water a day, as opposed to disposing of it in injection wells, the natural gas production company said.

The project is the second phase of the company’s water infrastructure system in its shale plays, said Al Schopp, chief administrative officer and regional vice president.

“We built a freshwater distribution system to deliver fresh water to our pads,” Schopp said. “The big impetus behind that was we eliminated over 400 water truck trips.

“Now what we’ll be doing is taking produced water that comes out of the well, creating stream-quality water and putting it back into our water system,” he added. “It’s kind of full circle with how we use our water.”

The facility is expected to take two years to build, Schopp said.

“We’re early in our permitting process,” Schopp said. “We have a long way to go.”

Antero is a leader in the development of natural gas from the once-hard-to-reach Marcellus and Utica shales in West Virginia and Ohio.

Companies like Antero tap those reserves by employing a horizontal drilling method and blasting the shale with water, sand and chemicals — a procedure called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

By treating and reusing flowback and produced water, Antero will not have to draw as much water from rivers and streams, Schopp said.

“It’s really the right way to treat this water…

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