Energy Startup Series: OriginOil

on January 20, 2015 at 11:00 AM
origin oil

OriginOil cleans frack water, from left: feed water, separated water, final stage clean water and recoverable oil product.

This is the latest installment in our Energy Startup Series that gives executives at cutting-edge energy firms an opportunity to share insights and experiences about the energy industry, their careers and their companies.  

Bill Charneski is president of OriginOil’s oil & gas division, where he has successfully led the deployment of the company’s proprietary Electro Water Separation (EWS) technology for hydraulic fracturing operations. Customers including Gulf Energy and Industrial Systems Inc. use EWS to effectively remove contaminants from frack flowback and produced water. Bill has extensive experience in the oil & gas industry, as CEO of two start up firms and as an engineer at Dow Chemical. He holds an MBA from Central Michigan University and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois.

1 – What is the greatest challenge facing the energy industry over the next 5 years?

Environmental issues will become paramount, whether it is water scarcity, ground and air pollution, seismic or other impacts related to energy production.

2 – What has been the biggest positive energy industry change since the start of your career?

The availability of unconventional sources of oil and gas from hydraulic fracturing has already significantly impacted the energy industry in the US and I expect it will be a major force throughout the world in years to come.

3 – What has been the biggest negative energy industry change since the start of your career?

The energy industry often faces criticism. Fracking is under fire today from environmental groups concerned about its impact. The oil industry can be seen as a “good neighbor” by continuing to highlight the dramatic increase in water treatment and reuse.

4 – What is the greatest satisfaction of working in an energy-related field? 

Commercializing a product that is to the benefit of society both environmentally and economically is tremendously satisfying.

5 – What is the greatest frustration of working in an energy-related field?

The oil and gas industry is very slow to change from its traditional methods. I believe this is changing, witness the accelerating pace of M&A in E&P technologies in the last decade.

6 –  What is your firm’s greatest strength? 

Our team creatively tackles product development and our professionalism brings these products to commercial fruition.

7 – What do you think the future holds for energy technology?

Technology has already brought us hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. In the future, there will be many more innovations throughout the processes utilized in the energy industry. A few examples are:  improvements in reservoir analysis, the use of green chemicals in production and advancements in water treatment.

8 – What is your favorite energy-themed film or television show? 

Star Trek (the movie series). I particularly liked the dilithium crystals.

9 – What is your favorite energy-themed book (fiction or non-fiction)? 

The Frackers by Gregory Zuckerman

10 – What would you have been if you didn’t work in energy?

A marine biologist