OriginOil Inc., a California-based company that focuses on water cleanup technology, is turning one of the primary challenges faced by the oil and gas industry during hydraulic fracturing – disposing of the water – into an opportunity to expand. So, they are doing just that. The company is opening a five-person satellite office in the Energy Corridor in Houston in the coming weeks.
There is a ready market for the water-handling industry in Texas. The oil and gas sector is one of the largest water users of any industry, Approximately 3 to 5 million gallons of fresh water are used to frack a well, according to OriginOil, and about 35,000 wells are fracked in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Hydraulic fracturing also contaminates a large amount of water. About 3 barrels of contaminated water are generated for each barrel of oil produced, according to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates. The contaminated water needs to be disposed of afterward. However, some studies link the disposal of water used in fracking to an increase in seismic events in areas where fracking occurs.
OriginOil’s Petro division will concentrate on cleaning up the water used in fracking by using its high-speed, low-energy, chemical-free technology. Using their technology, 98 percent of the hydrocarbons in disposal water are removed in one clean-up pass, according to licensee PACE Engineering. That will allow the water to be reused, rather than disposed of in underground storage facilities.
To oversee the new office, the company named Bill Charneski as its general manager.
“I used to live just south of Houston, so I know and like the city, and I like Texas,” Charneski told Rigzone. “It just makes good business sense to have an office in Texas, and we’ll be there around the end of the month.”
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