sustainability collab

Houston company partners on well pad restoration project in the Permian Basin

In a new partnership with Apache Corp., researchers at BRI and Texas Native Seeds will investigate methods to improve habitat restoration efforts in the Permian Basin. Photo via Getty Images

Apache Corp. and the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, have partnered to launch a well pad restoration research project.

Researchers at BRI and Texas Native Seeds will investigate methods to improve habitat restoration efforts in the Permian Basin. The goal is to publish a scientific best practices reclamation document for the Permian operators. Texas Native Seeds is a project of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M Kingsville. BRI works mostly in the frontier of Texas and throughout the Southwest.

The BRI project aims to inform oil and gas industries in the Permian about how changes in the industry’s collaborative approach to restoring end-of-service well pads can benefit local biodiversity and reunite fragmented habitats.

At end of a well’s service life, when the well is plugged, equipment is removed, and the pad is reseeded, which allows it to gradually return to a natural condition. The project’s goal is to help accelerate a better return to nature by considering alternative soil preparation techniques. By adding biochar to improve soil fertility, and incorporating undesirable scrub brush as a vegetative cover to hold soil moisture and discourage grassland animals from foraging on the seeds before they germinate, researchers believe this could be done.

“We are honored to partner with the Borderlands Research Institute on this important effort, which aligns with our mission to meet the growing demand for energy and to do so in a cleaner, more sustainable way,” Jessica Jackson, Apache’s Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety, says in a news release. “For many years, Apache has worked to restore well pads to their habitat potential. To further our efforts to continuously improve, Apache is supporting scientific research at sites in the Permian Basin to study the efficacy of methods for habitat restoration.”

The project will also measure increases in soil carbon to passively sequester CO2 in healthy desert soils, which will support Sul Ross State University student research through BRI.

“We all depend on the energy produced in the Permian Basin to power our lives, and we look forward to bringing valuable science to the table to support enhanced restoration practices in the energy industry,” Dr. Louis Harveson, the Dan Allen Hughes, Jr. Endowed Director of Borderlands Research Institute adds in the release. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Apache on this important research and applaud their leadership on this issue.”

Trending News

A View From HETI

Under this deal, the joint venture, RPC Power, will build power generation and storage assets for the sale of energy and related services to ERCOT. Photo via conduitpower.co

Houston-based Conduit Power is broadening the scope of its joint venture with Oklahoma City-based Riley Exploration Permian.

Under this deal, the joint venture, RPC Power, will build power generation and storage assets for the sale of energy and related services to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the power grid for the bulk of Texas.

RPC Power, established in March 2023, owns and operates power generation assets that use Riley Permian’s natural gas to power its oilfield operations in Yoakum County, located in West Texas.

The expanded relationship will enable RPC Power to sell power and related services to ERCOT, with plans for 100 megawatts of natural gas-fueled generation and battery energy storage systems across facilities in West Texas. The facilities are expected to start commercial operations in 2025.

In conjunction with the expanded scope, Riley Permian bumped up its stake in RPC Power from 35 percent to 50 percent. Furthermore, it plans to sell up to 10 million cubic feet per day of natural gas to RPC Power as feedstock supply for the new generation facilities.

"Our JV expansion at RPC Power represents a significant milestone for our company, and we are proud to build upon our successful partnership with Riley Permian,” Travis Windholz, managing director of Conduit, says in a news release.

Conduit, a portfolio company of private equity firm Grey Rock Investment Partners, designs, builds, and operates distributed power generation systems.

Riley Exploration Permian specializes in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas reserves, primarily within the Permian Basin.

Trending News