Skip to content

Bechtel’s Impact Report

Low Energy Ejector Desalination System (LEEDS)


Prioritizing water sustainability

Oil, gas, and mining operations generate large amounts of water containing salts, heavy metals, and other contaminants. This water is considered industrial waste and poses challenges for transportation, disposal, and potential reuse. In the Permian Basin, the volume of this produced water can exceed the flow of oil or gas, reaching millions of barrels daily. Disposing of this water by injecting it underground raises environmental and seismic concerns. Meanwhile, efforts to find beneficial uses for produced water face skepticism despite increasing water scarcity in these areas.

Bechtel is helping our customers advance environmental goals and preserve precious water resources.

A clean, more affordable water treatment process

The Low Energy Ejector Desalination System (LEEDS) technology is the centerpiece of a complete process for produced water desalination in oil, gas, and mining operations. By transforming a costly byproduct into a useful resource, LEEDS allows customers to handle produced water responsibly, while also alleviating water scarcity.

LEEDS is a high-efficiency thermal desalination technology that treats highly saline aqueous streams, such as produced water (80,000+ mg/L), to a quality suitable for beneficial reuse. This patented Bechtel design offers a cost-effective thermal process that removes total dissolved solids from the water.

Piloting LEEDS in the field

In August 2023, Bechtel and Five Point Energy established an exclusive relationship for the marketing, development, and sale of plants utilizing the LEEDS technology for produced water in the Permian Basin.

Since then, Bechtel has been field testing LEEDS with Deep Blue Holdings, LLC, a portfolio company of Five Point Energy, at a saltwater disposal well near Midland, Texas, in the Permian Basin. The system is consistently treating 400 barrels per day and meeting all performance specifications for recovery, energy efficiency, and water quality. At scale, customers using LEEDS could recover enough clean water to meet the daily water needs of the City of Midland.

      The LEEDS Pilot Unit is installed and operating at Deep Blue’s SWD site near the Midland Airport. The field testing of the LEEDS Pilot Unit is expected to run through Q2 2024.

Reuse revenue opportunities

LEEDS is an efficient, cost-effective end-to-end solution that converts produced water from oil and gas fields into usable, end-marketable products, such as:

  • Water available for agriculture or grassland irrigation
  • Water available for industrial feedstocks including hydrogen production
  • Fertilizers for agriculture uses
  • Industry and community clean water applications

Learn more

To learn more about LEEDS and how the technology is addressing the critical challenge of water scarcity, or to arrange a site visit, contact Jeff Braune, LEEDS Product Manager.

max 500 characters

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Key contacts