A Saudi Aramco department operates 12 gas oil separation plants (GOSPs) that have water-oil separators (WOSEPs) for produced water deoiling. The water is then injected back into the reservoir to maintain pressure. This paper provides details of the operational best practices and technologies for ensuring that the produced water is within specification.
A thorough analysis was conducted to determine the areas of improvement by adjusting process parameters, enhancing the upstream process controls and implementing modifications in the WOSEP. The impact of all changes was measured by monitoring the quality of produced water, particularly the oil in water concentration, through frequent sampling. Moreover, design deficiencies were observed, which led to the proposal of specific WOSEP internal upgrades and new technologies for enhancing the deoiling performance. All recommendations were combined into a single roadmap for the department.
Significant improvements in produced water quality were observed. This includes an 80% reduction in off-spec samples and a lower average oil in water concentration. The roadmap also includes proposals for major upgrades to the existing WOSEP design.
The WOSEP performance roadmap provides innovative yet simple best practices that can improve the deoiling efficiency. Moreover, it links WOSEP performance to process flow stability.