Advanced Technologies for Produced-Water Treatment and Reuse

Fig. 1—Results of MD tests on NaCl solutions (Membrane E).

Historically, the treatment of produced water (PW) has been limited to free-oil and suspended-solids removal, using physical separation technologies and injection in disposal wells. However, because of new regulations, combined with geological restrictions and local water scarcity, the drive to have a greater fraction of the PW treated more extensively and ultimately to be reused is increasing. This paper presents the results of a laboratory investigation in which treatment processes were evaluated as treatment methods for PW from different oil and gas fields.


A combination of factors is putting great pressure on operators to find new ways of treating and managing PW that promote water conservation and sustainability. However, treating PW to produce a good-quality effluent is a challenging task. PW characteristics can vary considerably. In order to treat PW to a water-quality standard that enables it to be reused, advanced water-treatment technologies (AWTTs) have to be applied, alone or in combination.

To investigate the suitability of several AWTTs to treat and reuse PW from Qatari gas fields, the authors, in conjunction with an operator’s research center, carried out a laboratory investigation in which various treatment processes were evaluated. Four treatment methods were selected to target main contaminants identified in PW from a Qatari gas field: Membrane processes were used to target field chemicals, membrane-distillation (MD) methods were used to target salinity, membrane-bioreactors (MBRs) were used to target organics, and ozonation was used to target field chemicals.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper IPTC 17394, “Advanced Technologies for Produced-Water Treatment and Reuse,” by A. Hussain, J. Minier-Matar, A. Janson, S. Gharfeh, and S. Adham, ConocoPhillips, prepared for the 2014 International Petroleum Technology Conference, Doha, Qatar, 20–22 January. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
This article is reserved for SPE members and JPT subscribers.
If you would like to continue reading,
please Sign In, JOIN SPE or Subscribe to JPT

Advanced Technologies for Produced-Water Treatment and Reuse

01 December 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 12


Don't miss out on the latest technology delivered to your email weekly.  Sign up for the JPT newsletter.  If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.