THE WAY OF WATER
The BOSS Magazine|April 2021
XRI’s sustainable water solutions are revolutionizing the water midstream industry.

As the oil and gas industry progresses towards a more environmentally friendly future, companies in the sector are seeking innovative environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) solutions to a variety of issues. Water is a necessary component of several resource extraction methods, from oil sands mining to hydraulic fracturing and other processes, and its handling is one of the industry’s most important environmental issues.

“Historically, if you look at the oil and gas industry as a whole, or specifically in the Permian Basin, which is the most profitable shale basin in the United States, the way water is managed and sourced has always been fragmented,” explained Dr. Chris Harich, chief operating officer of XRI.

On the forefront of midstream water management and reclamation, the ambitious portfolio company of Morgan Stanley Energy Partners brings ingenious technological solutions to the cost effective and sustainable use of completion fluids in the sector. (In industry parlance, water is referred to as ‘completion fluid’ and ‘production water’ because it is required in the development of wells, and is also a by-product of oil and gas production.)

Harich, who holds a PhD in Water Resource Engineering from the University of Southern California, recalled that when the company initially set up shop in Midland, Texas in 2013, the western and central parts of the state were gripped by drought and beset by wildfires that were straining the area’s water infrastructure. At the time, XRI’s main business focused on finding and developing brackish groundwater sources.

“Cities that relied heavily on groundwater were running out of fresh potable water. We saw how the drought was straining supply, and we decided to build a business that didn’t rely on fresh water,” he said.

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