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Water Management Techbook 2017

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EPmag.com | May 2017 | 17 WATER MANAGEMENT: BEST PRACTICES Regulatory-directed produced water purity requirements also vary widely around the world and depend on, among other things, final disposition of the water. Water intended for discharge overboard in the Gulf of Mexico, for example, has certain lim- itations on the contaminant levels of entrained oil found in the water that is to be discharged. In other areas of the world, no liquids at all may be discharged into the ocean. In the North Sea, regulators require operators to dispose of all produced water through injection into non-producing formations. Permissible contaminant levels are dictated also in most parts of the world by how operators intend to use the produced water. Operators may choose to reuse produced water by injecting it downhole for pressure maintenance, water flooding or down injection wells used for disposal. In these cases, water quality standards are dictated by the need to remove contaminants that can damage the formation, surface equipment or well. "Onshore, just getting your arms around flows, rates, volumes and true costs can get complex quickly, said Laura Capper, president of Houston-based Cap Resources. "Be prepared for a significant study to document these flows and costs–just to understand the starting landscape. Perhaps the biggest issues are that planning should be long term, 20 years if possible, supported by different economic scenarios. "Systems may include mobile facilities and fixed facilities, along with all the conventional infrastruc- ture needed to manage and move fluids," Capper said. "Production flows change very dramatically over the life of a given well, and the true life cycle of producing fields with many wells, and their fluid contributions, need to be rolled up for the big picture." The equipment necessary to reach water quality goals in general comprise a series of filters and sep- arators that reduce contaminants in the produced water that flows through them. The degree to which the water is treated in these systems, again dictated by final disposition of the water, ranges from nutshell filters that effectively remove solids and oil from produced water, to polishers that can remove min- iscule oil and grease droplets to as small as a single micrometer across. The makeup of produced water, according to the Baker Hughes website, is a function of reservoir rock characteristics, the wellbore and surface handling Typical setup in which the Schlumberger PETRECO HYDROMATION nutshell filter is used. (Image courtesy of Schlumberger)

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