Texas knows how to harness energy, providing more than one-fifth of U.S. domestically produced energy. In 2017, Texas accounted for 37% of the nation’s crude oil production, 24% of its marketed natural gas production, and one-fourth of all U.S. wind powered electricity. Energy leaders are actively developing innovative technologies that protect and preserve natural resources. From recycling and conserving water to renewable energy usage, the energy industry is working to reduce impact while powering the world.
Apache Corporation, a Houston-based exploration and production company with assets around the world, works to demonstrate that oil and gas operations and environmental stewardship in West Texas are not mutually exclusive enterprises.
“Our industry is called to meet an increasing global demand for affordable, reliable energy and, at the same time, to provide it in a cleaner, more environmentally friendly way,” says Castlen Kennedy, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. “Apache is focused on meeting this challenge head on and inspiring others to do the same.”
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Apache is an industry leader in the use of alternative water sources and recycling that minimize the use of freshwater in energy development. By using brackish water to meet its water needs, Apache relies less on potable water, which is important for households and agricultural uses..
Apache was one of the first oil and gas companies in Texas to innovatively recycle its wastewater, therefore significantly reducing the need for disposal. By recycling water, Apache minimizes additional withdrawals and the amount of water that must be transported by truck. The company has built seven water recycling facilities to support its operations in far west Texas in an area called Alpine High and as of July 2019, approximately 99 percent of the water used for drilling and completions in the Alpine High was recycled or non-potable water.
Apache is also actively working with McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis to implement and promote the Dark Skies Initiative. Apache’s permanent field locations and temporary drilling rigs to feature dark skies friendly lighting to reduce light pollution, keeping West Texas’ starry night skies dark for the Observatory’s astronomical research and education. The company continues to educate their employees on the initiative and conducts a weekly audit of more than 1,500 light sources as part of their operating procedures.
“Every generation has to develop new ways to meet the needs of the day while being good stewards of our resources of the future,” Kennedy says. “Texas’ oil and gas industry, through companies like Apache, is demonstrating that energy development and conservation can be synonymous.”