By Colin Tiernan
Via Wyoming News Exchange
DOUGLAS — The multimillion dollar projects continue to roll into Converse County, and the pace isn’t letting up.
Not all the developments are new wells — which break ground weekly these days— pipelines and gas plants. As demand for fracking water increases, companies are building Wyoming’s first water recycling facilities. Freestone Midstream is the newest company to get into the water recycling game in Converse County.
“We saw the demand both on the freshwater side and disposal side, as well as recycling and treatment,” Freestone Midstream President James Flavin said. “This Nighthawk Facility is a true water management facility.”
The Nighthawk Facility will be on Jenne Trail – an oil and gas hotspot – in northern Converse County. The site will handle produced water, the oily remnant from the fracking process. Freestone will dispose of some of that water by injecting it deep belowground, but the facility will also recycle water so that it can be reused for new well completions.
Flavin did not want to divulge the price of the facility, but explained that part of the project will become operational in the coming weeks, and final construction should wrap up by August.
He also noted that the company is likely to build more similar facilities in the county in the future, and already has another one in the works.
Silver Creek Midstream is building a 16-inch crude oil pipeline that should be complete by July.
Silver Creek Midstream Vice President of Shared Services Foy Wallace said that the project will cost $39 million.
“We’re thrilled to be in the Powder River basin,” Wallace said. “The workers in Wyoming are just solid, solid people.”
Like much of the county’s current developments, Silver Creek’s pipeline begins in northern Converse County west of WYO 59. It will run parallel to WYO 59 before connecting to the Pronghorn Oil Facility 17 miles north of Douglas. A maximum of 120 employees will build the pipeline.
Wallace said that Converse County is currently seeing an incredibly high pace of development.
“There is no normal,” he said. “Every day it’s just growing.”
Northern Converse County is also seeing new gravel pits. Melgaard Construction plans to open the Bell Pit once it receives the requisite approvals.
“The Bell Pit is honestly just one of the pits we’re working on in Converse County,” Melgaard Construction Aggregate Manager Jake Hepp said.
The Bell Pit will be 15 acres and could produce up to 300,000 tons of gravel. The company is also working on the Fiddleback gravel pit, just below the Campbell County border, and a gravel pit on Boner Bros property.
Logistics are king for gravel. Shipping rock is expensive, so opening gravel pits near oil and gas development makes financial sense.
Melgaard Construction Environmental Manager Chris Fare said that the company is increasing production in anticipation of even more development.
“The Converse County EIS, this is in part to help service that as well,” Fare said.