Paul Schuler, Americas Executive for GE Power and Water, is seeing companies doing things with water that he’s never seen before. The oil industry “used to think of water as just something to use and get rid of,” said Schuler in a recent Water Online Radio interview, “but now they’re treating it as a resource where it’s a real commodity that needs to be managed properly.”
Schuler cites an oil and gas customer in the western states that is treating its produced water from fracking wells to such high quality that they can return it to a drinking water reservoir. In the past, this produced water would have been injected back down a well for disposal.
The idea of using a single drop of water over and over again may be new but it is rapidly becoming critical to oil and gas producers. Schuler explains that there are economic benefits but the main driver in his opinion is public opinion. “An oil company that wants to call itself a natural resource company must manage all of it and water is part of it,” states Schuler.
To hear more about Schuler’s views on the adoption of high-end treatment technologies to reuse wastewater, click on the radio player below: