Bulk water transmission is a difficult challenge for water providers. Consider this scenario: an industrial customer asks you to supply them half a million barrels of water over the course of two weeks. And they need it in a month.
Where do you get that much water? Where do you store it? Can you even afford to transmit that much water given the needs of all your other customers?
With our large portfolio of water assets, our thoughtfully engineered system of pipelines, and our proximity to some prolific industrial customers, Pure Cycle can deploy bulk water when and how our customers need it.
Infrastructure and Assets
Pure Cycle has substantial capacity in its water assets and infrastructure capable of serving municipal customers, which are seasonal and require substantially more water during the summer, while also serving industrial customers year round. The later accounts are not cyclical but have peak demands. By strategically positioning storage facilities near customer sites, combined with investing in large-diameter pipelines that are able to transmit over 3,000 gallons per minute, we can serve both types of customers without compromising our commitments to either one.
Due to the inherent capacity constraints of transmitting bulk water, Pure Cycle seeks to deliver substantial value to our industrial customers through our extensive supplies, production capabilities and transmission systems on bulk water sales. We currently have several industrial customers most notably of whom are oil and gas operators developing assets in the Niobrara Formation.
Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing
The Niobrara Formations extend north into Wyoming and south of the Lowry Range. The southern end of the Wattenberg Field in Colorado’s Denver Basin is positioned on top of our water supplies, making us an ideal supply for fracking water sales due to proximity to infrastructure and position over the shale formations.
It is so valuable to oil and gas operators that in 2012 the State Land Board sought to monetize its minerals in the Lowry Range, and signed a multinational oil and gas operator to a mineral lease for $137 million, or about $6,500 per acre, the biggest per-acre mineral lease price paid to the Land Board to that date. Recently, the area has seen other operators enter into leases to develop wells in the area, too.
Hydraulic fracturing is a highly water intensive process, where each well can use between 10,000,000 and 20,000,000 gallons per well.
Currently, there are about 50 wells in our service area drilled to date which can each be re- fracked every five or six years for newer wells. Given the geography of this play – there are over 200 square miles in Adams and Arapahoe Counties, five possible formations and the ability to build 16 wells per mile within a formation – it could translate into 16,000 wells.