Fuse Enviro was founded by Jon Boxall and Chris Murray to address drilling waste management from an environmental and economic perspective. To achieve the goal of decreasing a drilling operation’ s environmental impact in a cost effective and timely manner proved to be a challenging undertaking. Their experience pointed them towards drilling fluid (mud) recovery as the largest potential opportunity for improvement in the drilling process from an economic and environmental standpoint.
Mud represents one of the larger input costs in the drilling process, and existing petroleum based muds have significant environmental hazards leading to costly handling and disposal issues. The handful of companies that had previously focused on this market developed processes that were extremely expensive, ineffective, and inefficient. Years of observing the significant amounts of waste, the volumes of costly drilling fluid being lost in the disposal process, and the impact of hazardous material sent to landfill prompted the development of a new technology to fill this market, resulting in Fuse Enviro.
Fuse Enviro’s leadership team focused their attention on developing a technology for not only recovering the mud, but cleaning the mud for immediate re-use, avoiding handling and disposal costs completely. They called this technology the RecoverTank. After incorporating May 2, 2007, field testing with a demonstration RecoverTank began June 25, 2007. The first year of operations was focused primarily on research and development of the prototype RecoverTank, its construction, testing and modification. In that period a first model of RecoverTank was developed, which proved to be very successful and produced tremendous results in field trials, not just in the lab setting.
It operated beyond expectations on 9 wells throughout 2007-2008 drilling period. It’s operations had proven to be a significant asset surprise to its first clients, with Fuse Enviro recovering an average of 38m3 per well. All of these demonstration wells have had hazardous material disposal locations accessible, and were not considered remote, yet still avoided significant disposal costs. Ultimately, and importantly, the resultant cost savings were always of higher value than the cost of the RecoverTank service. During its initial trials, research and extensive hands on operation by the company principles identified opportunities for improvement that could be incorporated into the design to increase efficiencies, increase recovery rates, and further develop the technology.
During the slower spring break up period, work began on the second generation RecoverTank. This second generation was completed in winter 2009 with optimized equipment and assembly resulting from field learning. The second generation RecoverTank has been in operation since that time with minor modifications and has demonstrated excellent fluid recovery and waste product dryness with fewer operational challenges. In the following months, with some further fine tuning, the RecoverTank has performed above and beyond the successful first prototype and exponentially surpassed the achievements of anything the industry had available.
Fuse Enviro and its cost effective technology has presented a new opportunity for both natural gas and oil drilling companies, which have typically been cautious to embrace change due to the associated costs. Fuse Enviro’s technology presents these companies with a win-win opportunity to improve their practices and at the same time save money. After many years of wasteful practices, the public good can be addressed as this technology advances the industry in terms of cost efficiency and environmental stewardship.