University of Colorado at Boulder
BMP of Oil and Gas Development

Spotlight: Anadarko’s Completion Transport System — ACTS

Photograph by Scott GerdesExample of a crowded multi-well pad during completion operations.

Anadarko’s Completion Transport System (ACTS) is an award-winning example of centralizing storage and staging activities.  Anadarko creates temporary staging sites on existing well pad locations to treat completion/flowback fluids. The company then moves filtered completion fluids by temporary pipelines directly to other well pads for completion activities.

Prior to using ACTS, a typical four-well pad would require:

  • Use of 770 truck loads to move approximately 50,000 bbls of water
  • 385 loads hauled in for completion fluid and 385 loads hauled out
  • Approximately 80% of all trucks on location used for the transport of water
  • Approximately 100 tanks of completion fluid on location

This completion scenario posed logistical challenges due to overcrowding.  Instead of responding with larger disturbance areas at the multi-well pads to accommodate completion fluid tanks and associated equipment, Anadarko instituted ACTS.

ACTS uses refurbished pits as staging areas for completion fluids.

Pit Refurbishment
Drilling fluid is evaporated or hauled to disposal after conclusion of drilling operations

Fill dirt is mixed with remaining drilling mud solids and cuttings from the large end of the pit and moved to the small end of the pit

Pit is re-lined with impermeable barrier to prevent infiltration
Photograph by Scott GerdesPit ready for protective liner installation.

ACTS uses temporary surface lines to move completion fluids from one staging site to another.

Temporary Surface Lines
Lines are hand-placed along existing roads and/or right-of-way

Lines are visually inspected and pressure tested

Lines are flushed with fresh water and then purged with compressed air into a truck or to the reserve pit before they are moved.
Photograph by Scott GerdesTemporary surface lines


The benefits of ACTS include:

For more information on ACTS, see the presentation (ACTS: Anadarko Completion Transport System) given by Jeff Dufresne at the workshop, Opportunities and Obstacles to Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Natural Gas Development in the Uintah Basin in October 2010.

  • Limits new distubrances by utilizing existing locations and/or right-of-way
  • Reduces truck traffic
  • Reduces road dust
  • Preserves county and lease roads, improves driving conditions and safety
  • Reduces truck emissions
  • Decreases fresh water usage
  • Accelerates reclamation by expediting pit closures
  • Achieves operational improvements and time savings;
    • Move fluid once
    • Reduce the number of completion tanks needed
  • Achieves overall cost reduction in operations

How Well Does it Work?

  • Reduces the number of tanks on a 4-well drilling pad from ~100 to ~20
  • Decreased the need for fresh water by approximately 2 million bbls by recycling ~80% of completion fluids (2010)
  • Truck traffic was reduced by approximately 1.3 million miles in 2009 and 1.5 million miles in 2010   
  • Water cost savings estimated at $50,000 per 4-well pad (~$1.00 per bbl)

Recognizing Anadarko's BMPs

Anadarko received the  Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission Chairman's Stewardship Award in 2010 for ACTS. For information on this and other Anadarko awards, go to the BMP Search page and include +award +anadarko in the Keywords panel.