Big Spring Company Uses Microbes to Clean Up Oil Spills

Big Spring Company Uses Microbes to Clean Up Oil Spills


With the oil industry an important part of the Permian Basin, spills are inevitable. A company out of Big Spring works to clean up these spills, not using heavy equipment, but bugs.

When there is an oil spill here in the basin, the experts in hydrocarbon & salt water remediation are on scene containing the situation with living organisms.

"We use them to clean up diesel spills, motor oil spills and hydraulic fluid spills. So anything that has to do with hydrocarbon or salt, we use these," said Rex Rainey, Owner and CEO of Remediation and Environmental Xperts, LLC.

He says the process begins with a vacuum truck, taking out loose fluid that will go to a disposal site. After that, the magic happens.

"We use high pressure sprayers to inject water," he said. "We use a product called Biosurfactant that creates air bubbles so that supplies an enormous amount of oxygen there."

These microorganisms exist with three components: oil or salt, moisture and air. If one of these components are missing, the bacteria will become dormant until there is a reason to do their job again.

"When that second spill occurs, there is a lot of times we just go out there, hit it with water and oxygenate the project and the oil is gone again," said Rainey.

Let's say there was an oil spill near a cotton farmers field. The micro-organisms in containers would be able to remediate the contamination in anywhere between two days and six weeks.

"It's very important to us to get in there and immediately clean that up," Rainey explained. "You can imagine the devastation of having to bring huge excavators and dump trucks into a man's farm."

It's all about preserving the land we sometimes take for granted.

"There is no more land and if we don't take care of it, our kids and our grandkids won't have this," said Rainey.