New Produced Water Platform to use Artificial Intelligence

Midland Reporter-Telegram • Mella McEwen • 05/20/2023

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Artificial intelligence is arriving in the produced water management sector.

Infinity Water Solutions and Quantum Reservoir Impact have announced a strategic partnership to develop, deploy and advance a water intelligence platform called SpeedWise Water, an artificial intelligence and machine-learning software designed to standardize, categorize and appraise water, most notably the produced and treated produced water coming from the energy sector.

“Data is only as good as the tools you have to make sense of that data,” said Michael Dyson, Infinity’s chief executive officer. "We can build a tool that takes the data and makes sense of it.”

Nansen G. Saleri, chairman and chief executive officer of QRI, stated in an announcement of the partnership, “Infinity and QRI are a powerful combination. The coupling of our complementary skill sets, intel, technology and teams have resulted in a truly impressive platform. Together we can deliver far more positive outcomes toward sustainability and clean energy than either company individually. The fact that we can help the value appreciation of wastewater through AI and superior engineering makes it even more exciting.”

Without quality data, “We don’t know how valuable that water is for fracturing, agriculture use or if its toxic and needs to be disposed of in the subsurface,” said Zac Hildenbrand, who will be joining Infinity June 1 as chief scientific officer. He currently is a research professor at the University of Texas at El Paso’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

SpeedWise will have remote sensors capturing information from production sites and relaying that information into its platform, he said. As more data points are collected, it becomes even more powerful, he added.

Demonstrating a beta version of SpeedWise, Hildenbrand showed how it can take a cluster of wells – the particular wells being shown were in New Mexico – and, through AI, predict how much water the wells would produce, how much of that water would be needed for fracturing projects and the constituents found in that water.

“We can commoditize that water, generate a marketplace,” he said.

That should bring down costs for both the companies that gather and dispose of water and those sourcing water, said Dyson.This goes beyond ESG – Environment, Social and Governance – but to sustainability, he continued.The platform will also offer legislators and regulators and academicians the tools they need to advance beneficial reuse of produced water, Dyson said.

“We’re still on the cusp of beneficial reuse,” said Hildenbrand. “We don’t have permitting because they don’t have standards. I hope we can hand our data to regulators and water consortiums and say, ‘Here’s the standards’ so they can put regulations in place.”

He added that he has seen Permian Basin operators treat produced water to a level less toxic than the standards for drinking water in El Paso.

Dyson said the platform will democratize information so any stakeholder at any level will know the value of the produced water, enhancing purchasing power. He cited the example of cotton farmers seeking water to irrigate their crops. Water treatment companies can use the information to optimize their processes.

Solutions to the vast amount of produced water exist to turn what is considered a waste product, a liability, into an asset.

“SpeedWise is a critical component that furthers things that are impossible now,” Dyson said. “This pulls together technologies and makes them work smoothly. The status quo is not sustainable.”

Read the article at Midland Reporter-Telegram here.

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