Chemists from The University of Texas at Arlington are partnering with Houston’s Apache Corp. to study water quality in the newly discovered Alpine High oilfield in West Texas.
Kevin Schug, a chemistry professor and director of UT’s Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation, will lead the work.
Schug said in a statement that his agency will conduct a baseline analysis of surface and groundwater quality, setting the bar for future monitoring as Apache begins to expand drilling operations around the 500-person town of Balmorhea, home to the famous spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park. The company has dug about 15 wells so far, but expects it could drill as many as 3,000 in the area over the next 20-plus years.
Last month, Apache announced it has discovered about 15 billion barrels of oil and gas along a strip of Reeves County, in the southern corner of the prolific Delaware Basin.