Interview with Erwin Rietman

Oil & Gas Industry Expert at Nijhuis Industries

“The current oil & gas market faces several environmental challenges, especially within the mid-stream market. Attention has shifted from traditional wastewater treatment methods, using API separators, towards flocculation-flotation and biological treatment technologies, said Erwin Rietman, Oil & Gas Industry expert at Nijhuis Industries. For more than 40 years, Nijhuis actively working in the global Oil & Gas market. Over this time, environmental protection has changed considerably. Erwin himself has worked at Nijhuis Industries for more than 10 years. During this time he has visited multiple oil and gas WWTPs, and developed his own personal market vision.”

Sustainable Water Use in the oil and gas market

“The market is really looking for green solutions, to help changing the image of the oil and gas market and protecting the environment. What we have seen as an overall trend around the globe, is that governments are intensifying pressure on the market to treat their wastewater in a much stricter way than before, ensuring that environmental compliance is adhered to. However, this comes with a challenge.

Wastewater experts such as Nijhuis are needed to help oil and gas companies to develop an economical and sustainable solution to treat their wastewater, whilst the produced wastewater itself is becoming more difficult to treat. Fluctuations and production process changes require innovative designs to handle these issues. This specialist process design requires both a lot of experience, and experts inside the company to use their knowledge to generate the most economical and sustainable design.”

Current market opportunities towards sustainable water use

Meet stricter discharge limits:

In the complete oil and gas market spectrum and especially in the mid-stream tank terminal market, the attention is shifting from API solutions, to flocculation-flotation and biological treatment technologies to meet stricter wastewater discharge limits. In South Africa, Nijhuis has recently realized a flocculation-flotation solution for a tank terminal to guarantee discharge limits can be met. This flocculation-flotation solution is installed in place of the previously installed API solution to treat the mix of slop water and run-off wastewater. Another successful project example who is following the trend from pre-treatment to biological treatment is the new WWTP of petrochemical company SIBUR. They officially opened their Nijhuis biological treatment at the end of 2018 at the production facility.


A wastewater design has to anticipate on significant fluctuations to ensure environmental compliance can be constantly achieved:

Wastewater flows and wastewater pollution in the oil and gas market are subject to significant fluctuations. For example, in the biofuel market it is very common to work with batches. In one batch, the wastewater can contain a large quantity of animal fat. One batch later this can be changed into palm oil fat.

Anticipating such fluctuations in the design of the WWTP will ensure environmental compliance can be constantly achieved, with a stable working WWTP by integrating several measurements, monitoring and controlling tools into the WWTP. By adding several intelligent sensor solutions such as the Nijhuis i-DOSE and Nijhuis i-QUALITY into the wastewater process, operational excellence with real-time control and maximized system performance can be achieved.

Resource Recovery: apply anaerobic digestion to generate energy:

In the biofuel industry, anaerobic digestion can be applied. This is a resource recovery and circular solution which not only treats and cleans water, but also generates energy and heat which can be used within the production facility. For leading Polish oil and gas station company, Nijhuis will realize a complete anaerobic solution (AECOMIX™-DGF), turning their biofuel waste streams into energy and clean water. “

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