The Science and Technology of Water Treating - 1 Day

Drilling and Completions


This 1-day session provides a fundamental understanding of the science and practical applications of water treating. It presents the fundamental mechanisms behind various
water treating equipment and processes and gives practical experience from dozens of water treating facilities from around the globe.

Throughout the course, field experiences, practical issues, and field performance of equipment is analyzed and explained in terms of surface science, chemistry and engineering principles. The scientific aspects of water treating are presented in a practical down-to-earth manner that can be understood with little prior study, and
can be immediately implemented in the field. The course is organized around the following topics:

  • Characterization of oil/water/gas for water treating
  • Equipment selection and performance
  • Process engineering and process line-ups
  • Chemical treating
  • Operations, monitoring, and surveillance
  • Troubleshooting

As indicated by these topics, the full project life cycle is covered from concept selection to front end engineering, detailed design, operation, and trouble shooting. Also indicated is a balanced approach toward chemical versus mechanical treating. A rigorous approach toward troubleshooting is presented with several examples.

Lessons learned and best practices are presented from shallow water and deepwater Gulf of Mexico, deepwater Brazil and Nigeria, offshore North Sea, onshore Middle East and Asia. Regional differences in water treating practices are discussed and explained.

Water treating for overboard discharge, injection disposal, water flood injection, polymer make-up, polymer flooding, steam flooding are discussed. Removal of dispersed and
dissolved hydrocarbons is included. Desalination of source water and produced water are also covered.

Why Attend?

Water treating is becoming increasingly important for maintaining the license to operate, as a component of DBOO project delivery, and for developing IOR/EOR projects.

Who Should Attend

The course is intended for process, facilities, and chemical engineers involved in either design or troubleshooting water-treating systems. Both onshore and offshore facilities are presented.

Special Requirements

Attendees should have a basic understanding of process, facilities, or chemical engineering.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) awarded for this 1-day course.


John M. Walsh is the subject matter expert for Shell in the area of produced water treating. He has more than 20 years experience in the E&P industry, having worked in the Shell technical centers for half of his career and in operating assets for the other half. He has designed water-treating systems, and provided troubleshooting support to assets all over the world including deepwater US, Brazil and Nigeria, the North Sea, onshore Europe, and onshore Middle East. He has experience in conventional produced water treating systems, and water treating for water flood, polymer flood, and steam flood.

Having earned a PhD in chemical engineering, together with extensive experience in operating units, he brings a unique combination of fundamental knowledge with first hand practical experience. He has presented more than 40 papers on the subject
of produced water treating at various conferences and workshops. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of SPE as the technical director for the Projects, Facilities, and Construction discipline.