18-07-2014

Liquid loading and (waste) water treatment

Background
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.

Programme objective
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.

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