With one of the largest crude oil reserves in the world,
Alberta, Canada is all too familiar with the oil sands industry,
especially since the majority of their crude oil comes from the
sands. Also mixed in with those oil sands is something that
Culligan is all too familiar with… water. Wait, what are oil sands
you're asking? And what do they have to do with Culligan and water?
Let us explain.
As described by the government of Alberta, "Oil sand is a
naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay or other minerals, water
and bitumen, which is heavy and extremely viscous oil that must be
treated before it can be used by refineries to produce usable fuels
such as gasoline and diesel." Now here's the problem. That water in
the oil sand is being overused by the energy industry to the point
where it has become an issue. This is where we come in. Looking
beyond water softener and filtration systems, Culligan is digging
With a history of tackling industrial water projects (that
includes the use, reuse and proper disposal of the resource),
Culligan is developing a new focus on oil sands. The sands have
come under heavy criticism in Alberta for the way water coming from
the Athabasca (oil sands), in addition to other rivers, is
being handled. Unfortunately, the handling process leads to an
abundance of unnecessary waste. Enter Culligan.
In a recent interview with Alberta Oil Magazine, Allan Connolly,
Chief Operating Officer for Culligan discussed our plan of action
in improving the water use problem with oil sands in Alberta. "Just
like energy, just like oil, water's a finite resource," said
Connolly. "… I know it's hard to believe that Western Canada could
ever run out of water, but in certain geographies it could - or
worse, you run into a contamination problem. In the combination of
oil and water, that's a real risk, so when you start to recycle and
reuse water effectively, there's really less of a risk."
With that being said, the goal of Culligan is to reduce the energy
industry's water footprint. The oil sands industry has a strong
drive to get better utilization and recycle rates. And as Connolly
explains, "What we're (Culligan) really interested in is the
smaller to mid-sized applications. Once the projects get big enough
that the thermal technologies come into play, they do a great job.
They're recovering high percentages of water. That technology is
great on the mega scale, but not as good on the smaller scale. What
we're looking to do is provide solutions in the small- to mid-
sized units all the way down to the pilot-sized."
Water… it's one of the most vital resources in the world and we
plan on continuing to take the steps to protect and improve