The Science and Technology of Water Management in Upstream Operations



This course provides a fundamental understanding of water treating with a specific focus on upstream production and processing operations. 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 for improved equipment performance.

Throughout the course, field experiences, practical issues, and performance of equipment is analyzed and explained in terms of 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
    • Produced Water
    • Non-produced Fluids
    • Facility drainage systems
    • Flow back fluids
  • Equipment description, selection, performance, and challenges
  • Process engineering and process line-ups
  • Chemical treating
  • Operations – sampling, monitoring, and surveillance
    • Water-flooding, Injectivity Decline, Remediation
  • Process Troubleshooting, Total System Approach
  • Water treatment for fracturing operations

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 essentially all major hydrocarbon production regions of the world. Applications include both onshore and offshore systems, as well as water treating for injection disposal, water flood, polymer make-up, polymer flooding, steam flooding, and hydraulic fracturing.

Learning Level

Introductory to Intermediate

Course Length

3 Days

Why You Should 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 and senior operators. Both onshore and offshore facilities are presented.


2.4 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) will be awarded for this 3-day course.


John Walsh is Director of Research and Development at CETCO Energy Services, a water treatment company. He recently retired from Shell where he was the global subject matter expert in the area of upstream 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. He has experience in nearly all areas of water treating for the oil and gas industry including conventional produced water treating systems, and water treating for water flood, polymer flood, steam flood, sour hydrocarbons, and unconventional hydrocarbons.  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.

Kris Bansal is a consultant and has the expertise in developing optimum engineering solutions requiring system integration and interface with multiple disciplines from reservoir to the topsides in upstream production and processing operations. He recently retired as an Engineering Fellow from ConocoPhillips after 30 years of service in E&P.  At ConocoPhillips, he was the global subject matter expert in the area of upstream water management. 

Before joining ConocoPhillips, Kris spent 6 years in Saudi Aramco in operations engineering.  He provided design input to new projects, commissioning and start-up support, and led a team of engineers for process studies and corrosion control programs in upstream operations in the Ghawar field – one of the largest in the world.

At ConocoPhillips, Kris was heavily involved in nearly all areas of water treating including: conceptual and detailed engineering design of new projects, commissioning and start-up, water-flooding, steam flood, unconventional shale gas operations, and deep-water. He successfully developed processes for management of non-produced fluids including drilling wastes and flow-backs for optimized facility operation – a total system approach. He provided technical and problem solving expertise in ConocoPhillips worldwide operations to develop innovative, cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions to process problems.  He taught water-flood school and presented problem solving seminars for technology transfer to operations and engineering in ConocoPhillips. 

Kris has presented papers on the subject of produced water management at various conferences and workshops.  He was also the keynote speaker at technical forums of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  Having earned a MS and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and MS in Chemical engineering, together with extensive experience in operations, Kris provides a unique combination of fundamental knowledge with first hand practical experience to organizations.