Playbooks Supplements

Water Management Techbook 2018

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38 | April 2018 | WATER MANAGEMENT: BEST PRACTICES T he sheer volume of water being pro- duced to provide the world with fossil fuel energy is huge. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated U.S. crude production will increase by 1 MMbbl/d from 2017 with levels up to 10.3 MMbbl/d in 2018. This output would break the country's high- est annual average record of 9.6 MMbbl/d, which was set in 1970. The EIA estimated the 2019 output will increase to 10.8 MMbbl/d. While an oil well may begin production with a 10% water cut, the output may be more along the lines of 10% oil and 90% water by the end of the well's life. "We called them oil platforms in the Gulf of Mex- ico [GoM], but now they're water platforms," said Dr. Wally Georgie, principal consultant at Max- oil Process Consultancy. Globally, the volume of produced water is only going to increase over time, said Lisa Henthorne, senior vice president and CTO at Water Standard. "Having sufficient treatment for the volume is a global issue," Henthorne said. "Offshore, there's only so much water treatment capacity on the platform. It becomes a bottleneck, and you can't produce oil if you can't treat the water. You have to shut in." The wastewater can contain high concentrations of salt as well as various organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, metals and naturally occurring radio- active materials, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. All that water and its constituent parts must be handled in some way. Historically, produced water has been treated and discharged into existing bodies of water or injected back into the reservoir. But reusing and recycling the water are gaining in popularity. "What I've seen and what clients are saying is that they're starting to reach critical mass with saltwater disposal wells, which are inexpensive. It costs much less to push it into ground than to treat it," said Georgianna Watson, produced water handling product champion at Schlumberger. "I'm Tightening regulatory requirements, a changing financial landscape and decreasing supply are tipping the scales toward reusing and recycling water. Evolving Best Practices in Water Management By Jennifer Pallanich Contributing Editor This seawater injection module is included in Schlumberger's line of water injection systems for diverse operating environments and water types, including ocean, river, aquifer and produced water for reinjection. (Photo courtesy of Schlumberger)

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