Global production of produced water is nearly 90 billion barrels per year. This water is generally considered to be a non-revenue fluid, yet it can have considerable value as an enhancer of oil production. Produced water needs to be handled and treated effectively to minimize injection or disposal costs and meet environmental requirements. In this talk, three interactive aspects of produced water treatment will be discussed: water chemistry; process hardware; and chemical treatment. To design new water treatment systems or to diagnose problems with existing systems, basic tenets must be followed: know the contaminants to be removed; avoid process recycle streams; and compensate for upstream process operations and chemical injection. The successful use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to design water treatment equipment will be illustrated. In addition, the diagnosis and resolution of actual, challenging water treatment problems will be discussed as examples of how the application of fundamental information can be used beneficially, thus saving time, money, and aggravation for operating companies.
The key message is that in order to design and operate a water treatment system that performs reliably and effectively, it is essential to understand and integrate the fundamentals of system chemistry, process operations, and equipment design.