Pumps & Systems staff spoke with Kevin Cassidy, global business leader – engineered systems, SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions about the state of the industry entering 2018.

How can pump professionals help with infrastructure issues? What aspects of infrastructure in the U.S. need the most attention?

Typically, when industries and utilities look to spend on infrastructure projects, the natural and fastest tendency is to replace things in kind. But with the advancements in everything from membrane technology and zero liquid discharge, to cloud-based data analytics, there are ways to implement technologies that can improve operating costs and reduce maintenance schedules and long-term costs.

When we think about infrastructure and where we can help make a difference, we are looking to really think about things like, how we can help a customer reduce unplanned outages, can we make upgrades that help improve operations, reduce costs and maximize footprint; and can we do it in a way that can enable more sustainable water and energy usage.

What should we expect from the oil and gas industry in 2018?

Regardless of whether it is onshore or offshore, downstream or upstream, oil producers and refiners are facing many challenges while striving to optimize their production, maintain safety and meet strict regulations. I think we will see innovations develop that address tougher to treat waters, but also innovation that helps to protect assets and improve operation.

With oil prices being what they are, we will see existing wells looking to optimize their operations to get the most product from their investment and capitalize on opportunity crudes.

We will continue to focus our services on helping customers increase production efficiency, optimize blending process using predictive technology, improve resource management and reduce environmental impact.

Other trends center around reducing water consumption and increasing water reuse of produced water. In the upstream space, we expect to see customers enhance oil recovery with Sulfate Removal and low-salinity injection water systems, and optimize processes and supply chain, as well as protect critical assets, through digital asset performance management and more predictive capabilities.

What are you most optimistic about in 2018?

As a company, we are very much optimistic about promoting the circular economy, where we no longer operate in a linear approach of take, make and dispose. But rather, where we look to reuse and recycle what we use to protect our most precious resources. From a water perspective, a circular economy can help increase water resiliency, promote water sustainability, and promote resource recovery of not only water, but also energy and nutrients.

Water reuse is one of the most promising and immediate actions we can take to help offset water scarcity and demand challenges globally.

What were the biggest lessons learned in 2017 and how will they impact the industry moving into 2018?

There are a several trends, that while are not new ideas, have gained footing in 2017. The concept of resource recovery and turning waste to value is gaining a lot of traction and driving industries and communities alike to rethink their processes. Energy efficiency is the first step to energy neutrality and we must take it one step at a time. Additionally, customers are looking for more than just great product technology. They are looking for a partner in solving their toughest water challenges.

Being one of the largest technology providers in the world, SUEZ is continuously looking to bring innovation and forward-thinking solutions to the industry; solutions that can make a positive impact to our customer’s bottom line.