Shale Gas Water and Wastewater System (LA)

Project components:

Heckmann Water Resources (HWR) retained HDR in 2010 to perform consulting services relative to their water and wastewater system serving the Haynesville shale play in western Louisiana. The Haynesville play is one of the largest unconventional gas reservoirs in the United States with an estimated 251 trillion cubic feet of recoverable reserves of gas, ranking it second in the U.S. to the Marcellus shale formation.

As HDR completed the consulting services in 2010, HWR formalized plans for significant expansion for their facilities serving the Haynesville play. Those plans included a water system to supply hydrofracturing water for gas well development, along with a wastewater collection, treatment and disposal system with an ultimate capacity to handle approximately 300,000 barrels per day (this equates to 12.6 MGD at 42 gallons/barrel) of wastewater from hydrofracturing and ongoing gas production operations. The water system plans include a water intake in the Sabine River and approximately 50 miles of water supply pipe. The wastewater system includes a number of collection points, treatment for oil/water separation, a 60-mile pipeline system, several booster pump stations and 22 deep well injection points.

HDR’s investigation, utilizing historical operation records including pressure and flow data, uncovered multiple system deficiencies. Heckmann hired HDR to design and build the first phases of this program, incorporating large-scale program improvements. The initial projects authorized included:

  • Procurement and installation of 22 miles of 14-inch fiberglass reinforced plastic pipe for the wastewater conveyance system
  • Design and construction of two oil/water separation systems and booster pump stations
  • Design and construction of a 5,000-foot cased pipeline under the Sabine River
  • Design and construction of an integrated control system to monitor and control the wastewater collection system

HDR managed the entire design-build process for these projects, including managing the geotechnical subconsultants, engineering, procurement, construction activities, QA/QC, and administering the project safety program. HDR’s integrated design-build delivery process allowed HWR to successfully complete the first phase of the system – eight miles of pipeline – approximately three months after authorization to proceed with the project. This aggressive project schedule meant HWR could begin serving its clients and generating new revenue as quickly as possible.

HDR’s design-build process working to meet HWR’s aggressive project schedule

As HDR negotiated the contract for the 22-mile pipe installation, the Owner expressed a need to have this pipe installed in a high-quality, safe and cost-efficient manner, and wanted the system to be installed as quickly as possible, so that they could begin receiving wastewater and generating revenue. With those needs in mind, the decision was made to use a design-build delivery approach. The first step in this process was for HDR to perform preliminary engineering to define the scope of the engineering and construction work. HDR then developed the detailed scope and pricing for the project. Because this scope was developed based on preliminary engineering, the contract included a detailed list of the materials included in the price.

Once the project was awarded, HDR’s team of design-build professionals was mobilized to manage the geotechnical subconsultants, engineering, procurement, construction activities, perform QA/QC and administer the safety program. The team started the project with a detailed storyboarding session to drive the weekly engineering and construction schedule, and to develop a list of weekly action items. Subsequently, the team held weekly storyboard update sessions.

The construction work was performed in conjunction with the HDR design team which was composed of design engineers, environmental engineers who performed wetland delineation and permitting tasks, CAD technicians, and project managers from HDR’s Pittsburgh, Austin and Dallas offices. Many of the design team personnel spent considerable time in the field to provide engineering support for this aggressive project schedule.

Collaborative design-build process drives success

This highly collaborative design-build process allowed the team to successfully bring the first phase of the system, eight miles of pipe approximately three months after authorization to proceed with the design-build project. This quick turn-around allowed HWR to begin serving its clients and generating revenue.

 “HDR mobilized a strong design-build team that gained quick and thorough
understanding of our needs, then executed our design-build projects in a high quality
manner that satisfied the needs of our customers and ultimately our shareholders.”

John Lucey, HWR Executive Vice President
Business Development and Engineering