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oil fracking equipment on site at an oil and gas extraction site

Hydraulic fracturing has grown in significance over the last decade as a major source of North American energy. In hydraulic fracturing, an injection of liquid, comprised of water, sand, and chemical additives, forces oil or natural gas from the ground. Hydraulic fracturing is not new. The method has been around for decades. Yet advanced, new horizontal drilling methods can today reach once inaccessible shale.

Responsible development of newly reached shale resources offers unprecedented national energy security as well as economic benefits. Throughout the US, east to west, teams are handling all phases of hydraulic fracturing and its environmentally sensitive cleanup process.

Among the challenges at frack sites during extraction and cleanup are adequate structures to house and organize operational and cleanup activities, including staff, supplies, bulk storage and equipment. Large Tension Fabric Structures (TFS) provide indispensable support for shale gas fracturing, or fracking activities.

Tension Fabric Structures for Extraction and Cleanup Phases

gas fracking temporary tension fabric structure on mining site

Hydraulic fracturing projects inject extraordinary volumes of liquid into the ground. Contamination (of both ground and water) presents operators with unique cleaning and disposal challenges. Flowback — water that surfaces once pressure is released — contains fluids and additives. Produced water must be cleaned of pollutants to enable the company to discharge it safely.

This all must be carried out in compliance with federal law, and often stricter state regulations. A durable, high-capacity workspace supports workers as they treat wastewater.  All-weather tension fabric buildings can provide sheltered space at the water treatment site, and support the work of environmentally vital water treatment no matter the weather at the work site.

Spacious and open span fabric structures are easily installed and relocated and require no foundation. They are versatile, open span structures that can facilitate numerous activities at and around the extraction and injection site, while having minimal environmental impact themselves. Made from high-grade aluminum, these advanced, engineered frames will not corrode or rust. Maintenance requirements are minimal, adding to the structure’s convenience for temporary or long term fracking field operations use.

Reclaiming Wastewater at the Site

With today’s technology, fracking water treatment options are increasing. Flowback water may not require trucking out to holding areas or deep-injection sites. Operators can sterilize and use flowback in future projects, or on site. To an extent, wastewater brine from hydraulic fracturing is reusable. While challenges are extensive, technology and time investment in site clean-up and wastewater reclamation are helping the industry to improve performance in a field that continues to grow in size and impact.

During wastewater reclamation, a temporary fabric structure can be used to enclose the operation, protecting it from public view, and providing operational space that also shelters personnel and equipment. Fabric structures can be climatized, as well as ventilated for fresh air circulation, or set up with air filtration or recirculation filters to limit the escape of pollutants and odors.  The fabric filters natural sunlight for visibility, while controlling humidity and heat — protecting personnel, and helping to keep extraction and water treatment operations on schedule.

Sand Storage and Disposal

Sand storage equipment at frack site inside fabric storage structure

Hydraulic fracturing can require several thousand tons of sand at a single well. Cities may require covered storage solutions designed to handle fracking operations. Spacious, durable and customizable tension fabric structures are optimally designed for large footprint storage, with unobstructed interior space to accommodate large bulk loads.

Sand and load-out of sand shipments can be efficiently managed with a choice of large area entry doors and interior configurations. Custom modifications can handle larger loads or conveyors. Precast concrete panels can be installed to enlarge vertical storage space without enlarging the total site footprint. The TFS protects stored materials in all weather and climate conditions, keeping the sand properly covered, and preventing dust production from winds and other weather events.

Fabric Structures a Flexible Solution for Frack Site Challenges

Fabric structure at gas fracking site with custom vestibule attachment

Ranging from 48 to 156 feet in width, and heights reaching 54 feet, a TFS will accommodate most any project’s onsite needs.  Various available anchoring systems enable the fabric structure to be erected on the ground as-is or on blocks, to address issues such as uneven ground and muddy conditions. The structure can be fully enclosed or open-ended. Other available options such as lighting and truss systems make the TFS a convenient and flexible solution for temporary building needs at energy production and wastewater reclamation sites.

A TFS can be installed and ready to use within weeks of order. The same structure can be moved to other locations as project needs change or expand. TFS solutions have been implemented successfully for leading companies in oil, gas, mining and environmental remediation around the world.

More Information on Frack Site Temporary Structures

Allsite has inventory suited for oil and gas projects ready to ship and install anywhere in the world. For more information on how a TFS can help meet your specific project needs, contact us for a free quote or call Allsite Structure Rentals at 888.599.5112.

Author Peter Milligan

Peter Milligan is a Business Development Manager at Allsite, with degree in Psychology from Lafayette College and 14 years experience in matching customers with Tension Fabric Structure solutions. Read more about Peter and the rest of our team at

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