| 713-487-5813


In the last few years, shale oil and gas production in the United States has grown significantly as there have been improvements in both hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies. In 2000, shale gas provided only one percent of the nation’s natural gas production, but accounted for more than twenty percent by 2010. The U.S. Government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that by 2035, 46 percent of the U.S. natural gas supply will be provided by shale gas. Furthermore, the EIA’s “2012 Annual Energy Outlook” says the U.S. has enough natural gas to meet domestic electricity demand for 575 years at the current fuel demand for generation levels.

The process of hydraulic fracturing involves drilling a well bore into the reservoir formation and then forcing a large volume of water, sand, and small amounts of chemicals into the well at high pressure to create fractures in the rock. Once fractures are open, the sand is used to prevent the fractures from closing back together, which releases oil and gas out of the fractures and into the well bore. The oil and gas stream then returns to the surface. Hydraulic fracturing is a water-intensive process that has made water use and management one of the most studied and widely publicized issues in shale production. Additionally, several chal- lenges have emerged related to water use in shale production:

1. Limited fresh water supply, especially in water scarce regions
2. Resource sharing among residential, municipal, and industrial users
3. Environmental concerns about groundwater contamination
4. Increased trucking activity; and
5. A tightening regulatory landscape

These developing issues have made water management a hot topic of discussion in shale gas production. The industry is not only looking for alternative water sources, but also new treatment and reuse methods for the wastewater produced from the wells.


A typical well requires four to six million gallons of water to drill and fracture, depending on the basin and geological formation. Additionally, there are approximately 1,000 truck movements to deliver water, which has a temporary environmental impact on the region. Water’s use has increasing implications as the industry has developed more fracing stages. Multi-stage fracs are among the most water intensive.

Open PDF to read full article.

HOUSTON– The Houston Business Journal recognizes Ross Tomson, founder of Brine Chemistry Solutions and the Shale Water Research Center, as a finalist for the Who’s Who in Energy 2013 Awards.

Tomson’s recognition was included in the Business Journal’s Texas print edition that was distributed to Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio markets. The Houston Business Journal will also recognize Tomson at the Who’s Who Reception at the Total Energy Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center on November 20, 2013.


About Brine Chemistry Solutions

Brine Chemistry Solutions, LLC performs research, testing and education related to water issues in oil and gas production. Research resources are directed toward solving many of the different types of problems associated with brine production, treatment, disposal and reuse. Clients include government entities, multinational companies and universities. For more information, visit

HOUSTON— Brine Chemistry Solutions (BCS) begins Phase II of its research on corrosion and scale prediction and prevention at extreme pressure and temperature (xHPHT). The research is a part of a three-year, $4.5 million project awarded to BCS from the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA), a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy.

While there are hundreds of oil and gas production wells in the Gulf of Mexico, the industry lacks data and models for corrosion and scale in these ultra-deepwater xHPHT conditions. BCS’s research continues to address this issue through the RPSEA project.

In Phase I of the project, BCS conducted experiments using unique instrumentation that reaches 24,000 psi and 250 degrees Celsius to study corrosion and scale formation.  These completed experiments resulted in new methodology and data that BCS is expanding on in its continued Phase II research. During Phase II, BCS will further develop its models through additional xHPHT experimental testing of corrosion and scale in complex brine systems, additional alloy types, and screening multiple inhibitors for thermal stability and effectiveness.

“We have met the Phase I goals and are making progress on Phase II goals,” said Ross Tomson, founder of BCS. “This research will ultimately add to the Gulf of Mexico’s oil and gas production health, environmental, and economic security through more accurate corrosion and scale prediction and prevention.”

During Phase II of the project, scale and corrosion research will focus on kinetics and behavior at xHPHT, while simultaneously studying thermal stability of inhibitors.  BCS will continue this advanced testing with a custom autoclave reactor, in-house created flow-through apparatus, and vertical scanning interferometry.  Modeling will focus on understanding the solvent behavior in electrolytes with specified chemical properties. The modeling will expand to include the water-ion and ion-ion interaction with effort focused towards quantifying kinetic factors, such as diffusion coefficients. The research will incorporate the modeling of the equation of state (EoS) based on statistical associating fluids theory (SAFT).


About Brine Chemistry Solutions

Brine Chemistry Solutions, LLC performs research, testing and education related to water issues in oil and gas production. Research resources are directed toward solving many of the different types of problems associated with brine production, treatment, disposal and reuse. Clients include government entities, multinational companies and universities. For more information, visit


BCS Principal Ross Tomson joins the Ultra-Deepwater Technology Conference on October 29-30, 2013. The conference will address technology development and research from more than 30 diverse RPSEA research projects, including projects at BCS. The conference is at Lone Star Corporate College in The Woodlands, TX. For more information, click here. 

The Society of Petroleum Engineers is hosting a Water Lifecycle Conference on October 22-23, 2013 in Galveston, Texas.

Ross Tomson, of Brine Chemistry Solutions and the Shale Water Research Center will be participating in the conference’s panel discussion on water use, monitoring, and environmental performance in oil sands industry on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.

For more information on the SPE conference, click here. 

HOUSTON — Government-sponsored research is closing in on a standard methodology that deepwater offshore drillers can use to fight corrosion, wear and blockages, reducing the risks of another offshore oil and gas spill.

Brine Chemistry Solutions, a private research and development contractor founded in 2010, says it will begin rolling out initial results of its study on problems with scaling and corrosion for different metals and materials that oil and gas firms use to penetrate the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Scaling describes the process of calcium deposits building up in pipes and tubing, causing blockages that reduce hydrocarbon flows and eventually exacerbate the effects of corrosion on materials used for offshore energy exploration and production.

In an interview, Ross Tomson, founder of Brine Chemistry, said he and his team have spent the past year designing their experiments to study corrosion and scaling at extremely high temperatures and pressures found in deepwater oil and gas fields. Fabricating its laboratory equipment on its own, the company is now moving ahead with multiple tests to take place over the next couple of years…

Read more at EnergyWire.

HOUSTON—Brine Chemistry Solutions (BCS) is developing test methods and procedures to optimize enhanced oil recovery efforts in offshore wells in Brazil.

The primary goal for the BCS project will be to help predict and prevent scaling potential in Brazil’s offshore production. The two-year project will help determine the influence of water-alternating-gas (WAG) on scale formation.

The research will use actual field core, oil and produced water, in addition to synthetic materials. BCS will perform laboratory research using core testing apparatus, to simulate WAG and production conditions. The research will focus on carbonate reservoirs including specifically to determine the effect of scale interaction with fluids in the WAG system.

“WAG produces scale that can lower efficiency and can reduce or stop production, said Ross Tomson, founder of Brine Chemistry Solutions. “Our work will help evaluate the design of WAG in order to predict and prevent scale formation.”

During the final stages of the project, BCS will develop software and provide training for personnel who manage the offshore wells in Brazil so that they can use the developed research to continue predicting and preventing scale formation in the field.


About Brine Chemistry Solutions

Brine Chemistry Solutions, LLC performs research, testing, and education related to water issues in oil and gas production. Research resources are directed toward solving many of the different types of problems associated with brine production, treatment, disposal, and reuse. Clients include government entities, multinational companies, non-profits, and universities. For more information, visit



As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s ultra-deepwater petroleum resources research program, researchers with Brine Chemistry Solutions (Houston, Texas) and Rice University (Houston,Texas) are working on a project to develop a comprehensive model that will predict how produced water, oil, and gas drawn from ultra-deepwater oil and gas wells will affect transmission and production piping and equipment used to bring them to the surface, and provide information to assist production companies in making decisions for mitigating corrosion and scale formation under the extreme temperatures and pressures encountered in ultra-deepwater development. Deepwater oil and gas production involves hydrocarbons, produced water (brine), carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulfde (H2S), and other chemicals. Under high pressures and temperatures, brine can form acidic mixtures that cause general corrosion and pitting of pipes and solid mineral deposits (scale) that inhibit flow. In ultra-deepwater wells—those wells located in water depths >7,500 ft (2,286 m)—temperatures and pressures can be extreme, with temperatures up to 250 °C and pressures of 25,000 psi (172 MPa) or higher, and produced water can have higher salinity levels. These ultradeepwater well conditions can cause different types of scale to form as well as accelerate corrosion and initiate stress corrosion cracking (SCC), explains Ross Tomson, principal and CFO of Brine Chemistry Solutions and overall manager for the project. Although production companies take steps to mitigate corrosion and scale formation, such as the use of corrosion and scale inhibitors and corrosion-resistant alloys (CRAs), the issue is whether or not the mitigation strategies are effective under the high temperature, pressure, and salinity conditions found in ultra-deepwater reservoirs.

Download PDF with full details

Shale Water Research Center’s Innovative Approach to Solving Water Issues

As oil and gas companies engage in shale exploration and production, there is an increased need to find solutions to make hydraulic fracturing more efficient, while maintaining a zero or net positive environmental footprint. To help oil and gas companies meet this need, the Shale Water Research Center (SWRC) was founded. We work with our member companies to measure, describe and model full-cycle water and chemical additives used in shale oil and gas production. Our primary focus is to systematically research water chemistry with the aim of increasing water reuse, reducing water cost, and increasing oil and gas production
from each well.

Water’s Role in Hydraulic Fracturing

Water is the driving force behind releasing oil and gas from shale rock. On average, the water used on each well costs as…

Download PDF with full article

The shale oil and gas industry may be booming, but can we do more? What if there was a way for us to enhance the industry for both the environment and production efficiency?
There is, and now is the time for us to work together to achieve these results for parties on every side of the business. If we can refine the use of water in the hydraulic fracturing process, we can improve the business at large while maintaining a zero — or perhaps net positive — environmental footprint.

Water’s role in fracturing

So you may be asking at this point, what is water’s current role in fracturing? To fracture shale rock, companies pump an enormous amount of water at high pressure deep into the ground to release oil and gas. More than 99 percent of the solution used to accomplish this feat consists of water and sand. Less than 1 percent of the solution is made of additives that help various fluid dynamics and help release the oil and gas from the shale.

However, once we access the shale oil and gas, the produced water returns to the top of the well, and it is no longer effective to reuse directly for other projects.

To read full articles visit