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Water Management Techbook 2018

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44 | April 2018 | WATER MANAGEMENT: BEST PRACTICES "Otherwise that is lost revenue," Kern said. "That is saleable product that is stuck in the water as a carrier." Kern said Dow uses a two-step process to remove hydrocarbons from produced water. The first step is a coalescing technology Dow calls AMBERLITE ROC 110. It is a surface-modified media that causes the oil to form larger droplets, slough off and separate out, thereby breaking the emulsion. However, Kern said some soluble hydrocarbons often still remain, requiring a different technology for removal. An adsorbent resin called DOWEX OPTIPORE can adsorb the hydrocarbon out of the water to the 1 parts per billion range. Together, the technologies are designed to treat water economically. The products and technology have been used in chemical process settings, such as ethylene crack- ers, for years, but they are just starting to gain trac- tion in the oil and gas sector. DOWEX OPTIPORE is being used in tandem with a project in Wyoming that is producing 25 Mbbl/d of water. "It's effectively treating that," Kern said. Water intended for reinjection might be softened to remove hardness. Highly saline water may go through a reverse osmosis process to reduce the amount of salts. One of Schlumberger's water treatment tech- nologies is Voraxial impeller-induced cyclonics, which provides simultane- ous three-way separation of oil, water and solids for onsite oilfield water treatment. Voraxial uses impeller-induced cyclon- ics to provide instanta- neous, continuous and concurrent separation of water, oil and solids at very high flow rates. The water can then be subject to further treatments, such as ultraviolet lights, oxidation and biocides. These treatments destroy polymer content for frack water recycling, sterilize microbes for pit and pond maintenance and reduce select ions for protection of tanks, pipelines and saltwater disposal wells. According to Schlum- berger, the mobile in-line treatment system has a wide operating window that can accommodate changing influent water quality and flow rates without interrupting operations for reconfiguration. Produced water is then treated to augment freshwater inflow. Revenue source? If operators can find a way to turn produced water into a revenue stream, the matter may garner more attention. Produced water that has been treated to reduce the salt can be sold for use in irriga- tion. Henthorne said she is aware of some companies that are actually mining those salts to some degree of success. She said some companies are looking at mining a specific mineral that appears in some pro- duced water to sell for use in certain batteries. According to Georgie, perhaps the best way to turn produced water into a revenue stream is to reduce the overall operating costs. It has been reported that in 2016 the U.S. shale industry paid $20 billion to dispose of produced water. Of that outlay, more than half went to trans- portation and disposal. The 2018 spend on dealing with produced water is projected to be high as well. "If we accept that we could reuse that water and we don't dispose of it, there will be a significant amount of that $20 billion saved. So it's not a reve- nue but a cost savings," Georgie said. n Voraxial impeller-induced cyclonics provide a robust, flexible, onsite separation method in a compact, self-contained unit for high-rate water treatment. (Photo courtesy of Schlumberger)

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