In Search of Cheap, Fast Ways To Detect Water Troubles

Topics: Water treatment and management
Source: TEES
A researcher at Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) prepares samples of produced water for bacterial analysis using the Bactiquant test from Mycometer.

Treating produced water to control bacteria is like weeding a garden. It addresses the problem that is not going away.

Regular field testing shows water quality is highly variable. The biological and chemical makeup of a tank of produced water is complex and can quickly change as water from other sources is added and microbes rapidly multiply.

“In the Permian Basin, I went out to wells that have been recently fractured and within 2 months they are already soured. It was back-traced to poor water quality. That happens more often than you think it does,” said David Burnett, a research scientist at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

One of the TEES projects is seeking practical, cheap, reliable, and quick testing options for microbes and chemicals, and seeing if those tests also work in the hands of a worker in the field. The goal is to convince operators that they need to test often and can rely on those results to manage their operations because performing a test that costs USD 10 or less could save USD 500,000 on a workover.

TEES’ interest coincides with a spate of new options on the market for biological and chemical monitoring of oilfield water.


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In Search of Cheap, Fast Ways To Detect Water Troubles

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

16 October 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 11