What is WM Energy Services?

300 exploration companies

HOUSTON As prices at the pump continue to rise, so has the demand for energy independence. To work towards that goal, oil companies are now relying on a method of exploration called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, where rig operators drill horizontally into areas that at one time were inhospitable to conventional methods. 

To tap into this growing market, Waste Management formed WM Energy Services, which caters to this growing industry with a suite of environmental services few competitors can provide. Today, with operations across the United States and more than 300 exploration companies under its belt, WM Energy Services is expanding into new forms of revenue.

Where does WM Energy Services do business?

Fracking is a process that takes place around shale formations, or long stretches of sedimentary rock that have traditionally been difficult to drill. The most well-known of these formations is Marcellus shale, which is a long stretch of land in the northeast that authorities believe could contain enough natural gas to fuel the nation for more than 60 years.

However, WM Energy Services is located in a variety of other places, from Eagle Ford in South Texas to the Bakken of North Dakota. In total, the company operates in 12 states: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, California and Alaska.

What does WM Energy Services do?

Over the last few years, this branch of the company has grown significantly to provide a wide array of comprehensive environmental solutions. This includes oil field services, where WM collects, treats, recycles and disposes of wastewater and drill cuttings, as well as pad services, where someone is stationed at a rig 24/7 to manage waste.

Wastewater, one of the more common items WM manages, comes in two forms: flowback water, produced during the fracking process, and production water, created during a well’s lifespan. Every waste stream managed by the company undergoes a different process.

For example, production water (heavy in salt) can be recycled using evaporation technology to produce a heavy brine that can be used for various industrial applications.

Other services provided by WM Energy Services include waste transportation, industrial cleaning and consulting, where WM advises oil explorers not just on the regulations of today, but on how future regulations will shape their business.

In the next issue of WM Monday, look for a story on a recent acquisition made by this growing branch of the company.