As of 2020, the U.S. holds the world’s ninth-largest oil reserves worldwide. Water conservation is ‘number-one priority, the industry says. Highly qualified professionals in the field are being wanted by the industry. Adeoluwa Olotu, a highly qualified engineering professional at Ecolab, having comprehensive skills in project management, process improvement, and data analysis, explains what the industry is doing.
Water-saving is the biggest challenge of the decade worldwide. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is commonly called, blasts vast amounts of water, sand, and chemicals through underground pipes to crack open the underground rock formations that hold crude oil and natural gas. A barrel of oil, or about 42 gallons, yields about half a barrel of wastewater.
As production grows, the challenge of what to do with the wastewater created by fracking means exploring solutions as big as the boom itself. According to the driven Specialist and technical consultant in Petrochemical Processing, Chemical Engineering, Water Treatment, and Oil & Gas, Adeoluwa Olotu, the U.S oil, and gas industry is currently facing a makeover to keep growing, investing in technology and hiring highly experienced experts is critical.
“As fully experienced specialists we’re trying to study how to achieve the goal to keep up the market and also help the environment. The oil and natural gas industry practice environmental protection and water conservation as a part of many of their operations,” explains the expert. “These practices are good for business, of course, but they also help protect and conserve resources”, says Adeoluwa Olotu, who has a Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of Louisiana Lafayette.
A 2018 study conducted by Duke University reported the freshwater used nationally in fracking increased to 770 percent from 2011 to 2016, while wastewater volumes within the first year of production grew by 550 percent. A previous study titled “How Much Water Does U.S. Fracking Really Use?” revealed that energy companies used up to 250 billion gallons of water between 2005 and 2014 for these “unconventional drilling” processes across the U.S., creating 210 billion gallons of wastewater. One fracked well could use up to 6 million gallons of water and “thousands” are drilled each year.
“Unconventional oil and natural gas play a key role in the U.S clean energy future. The U.S. has vast reserves of such resources that are commercially viable as a result of advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies”, explains the expert Adeoluwa Olotu. “These technologies enable greater access to oil and natural gas in shale formations. Responsible development of America’s shale gas resources offers important economic, energy security, and environmental benefits”, says Adeoluwa Olotu.
As an innovative thinker with strong water treatment and petrochemical processing acumen, Adeoluwa Olotu lead water conservation projects that yielded a 16.4-million-gallon water savings annually for a major refinery in North America. This was achieved by using innovative technology to anticipate system variability and automate response, thus keeping the system in ideal balance and minimizing the water needed for cooling.
“It is the reality that water is not an inexhaustible resource. Therefore, implementing similar projects and adopting technology as a path to water savings is critical to alleviating the worlds water scarcity crisis. A crisis for one is a crisis for all”, says Adeoluwa Olotu.