Liquid loading and (waste) water treatment
With the production of oil and gas, water
is produced. Prior to disposal, the water
is separated from the oil or gas. The
untreated water may contain oil (aliphatic
hydrocarbons), aromatics (e.g. BTEX,
PAHs) and heavy metals. Also, production
chemicals and/or solids might be present.
As gas fields mature, liquid loading
becomes a major problem. Water builds
up in the wellbore, which finally makes
the production of gas impossible.
To solve this problem, foamers are injected
into the bottom of the well, enabling
production at a lower pressure. Herewith
the rate of recovery and the life time of
the gas field can be increased.
Disadvantage of the use of foamers is that
it disturbs the separation process of water
and oil. A stable emulsion will be formed
and the concentrations of oil in water will
exceed the legal limit for discharge of 30
ppm. This will put the production to an
halt, unless water re-injection is feasible.
The research focusses on water treatment
technologies that can be used offshore
and that can meet the legal requirements
for discharge economically.
The project consists of three phases
and the final goal after phase 3 (2015)
is to have carried out a successful pilot
at location with the most attractive
technology for the offshore treatment
of production water from mature fields.