Evaluation of Nanofiltration Membrane Process for Smartwater Production in Carbonate Reservoirs From Deoiled Produced Water and Seawater

Nair, Remya Ravindran (University of Stavanger) | Protasova, Evgenia (University of Stavanger) | Bilstad, Torleiv (University of Stavanger) | Strand, Skule (University of Stavanger)


Remya Ravindran Nair, Evgenia Protasova, Torleiv Bilstad, and Skule Strand, University of Stavanger Summary This research focuses on membrane-separation efficiencies by adjusting the ionic composition of deoiled produced water (PW) and evaluates the possibility for smartwater production from PW for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in carbonate reservoirs. Key characteristics of smartwater for carbonate reservoirs are increased concentrations of divalent ions and low concentrations of monovalent ions compared with seawater. In this research, PW was pretreated with media filters, which resulted in 96 to 98% oil removal. This deoiled PW was used as feed for nanofiltration (NF) membranes. NF-membrane performance was evaluated in terms of flux and the separation efficiencies of the key scaling ions calcium (Ca) and barium (Ba). No membrane fouling was observed during the experiments. The results showed no Ca dissolution, which could affect chalk-reservoir compaction. A process scheme is proposed for smartwater production by ionic selection from seawater and PW at an operating pressure of 18 bar. Energy-consumption analysis for smartwater production before membrane treatment concluded NF to be economic over other desalination technologies. The power consumed by NF membranes for smartwater production at 18 bar is calculated at 0.88 kWh/m Introduction PW is one of the major waste streams from the oil and gas industry and should be managed in an environmentally sustainable manner. PW treatment is concerned with contaminants such as solids and residual oil, together with production chemicals (Fink 2012). The current water/oil ratio (WOR) in oil production is 2:1 to 3:1 worldwide. Onshore-treatment costs of PW from the North Sea differ from 0.19 to 3.40 USD/bbl of PW (Duhon 2012).

  Industry: Energy > Oil & Gas > Upstream (1.00)