The report details information obtained during the EPA’s outreach to stakeholders. The information in the report will help the EPA determine whether any future actions are appropriate to address oil and gas extraction waste water further. Elevated concentrations of strontium, an element associated with oil and gas waste waters, have accumulated in the shells of freshwater mussels downstream from wastewater disposal sites, according to researchers from Penn State and Union College. With concern growing that the underlying geology in the Permian Basin is reaching capacity for disposal wells, the Trump administration is examining whether to adjust decades-old federal clean-water regulations to allow drillers to discharge waste water directly into rivers and streams. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is embarking on a new study that will take a holistic look at how the EPA, states, and stakeholders regulate and manage waste water from the oil and gas industry.
The US Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized a voluntary disclosure program for new owners of upstream oil and gas facilities designed to encourage them to find, correct, and self-report violations of the Clean Air Act, in particular those associated with emissions from storage vessels. The report details information obtained during the EPA’s outreach to stakeholders. The information in the report will help the EPA determine whether any future actions are appropriate to address oil and gas extraction waste water further. The New Owner Clean Air Act Audit Program, tailored specifically for oil and natural gas producers, will focus on offering more flexibility to new company owners who choose to self-audit their emissions and report any failures to meet EPA’s regulations. Proposed changes would modify EPA's August 2016 final rule, "Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources."
Sometimes a number makes you really think twice, and a paper presented at the 2018 SPE ATCE included a number that did just that to me. The second sentence of the abstract for this paper stated “… nearly 100 billion barrels of produced water … is being generated every year from oilfield operations”. One hundred billion barrels: that is roughly three times the volume of oil produced in 2018, or a volume that would fill some 6.4 million Olympic-size swimming pools, or about 13 barrels (550 gallons) of water for every person on Earth (SPE 191749). However you look at it, it is a lot of water and that volume is only increasing. In that same sentence the authors characterized the produced water by stating it often has total dissolved solids (TDS) higher than sea water.
The Elliptio complanate freshwater mussel, one of the two species used in the experiment. Elevated concentrations of strontium, an element associated with oil and gas waste waters, have accumulated in the shells of freshwater mussels downstream from wastewater disposal sites, according to researchers from Penn State and Union College. "Freshwater mussels filter water, and, when they grow a hard shell, the shell material records some of the water quality with time," said Nathaniel Warner, assistant professor of environmental engineering at Penn State. "Like tree rings, you can count back the seasons and the years in their shell and get a good idea of the quality and chemical composition of the water during specific periods of time." In 2011, it was discovered that, despite treatment, water and sediment downstream from wastewater disposal sites still contained chemicals and had become radioactive.
Wastewater disposal is becoming a bigger problem for oil and gas drillers. A rule of thumb is that, for every barrel of oil, four or five barrels of waste water are produced. For almost as long as there have been oil wells in Texas, drillers have pumped the vast quantities of brackish waste water that surfaces with the oil into underground wells thousands of feet beneath the Earth’s surface. Technically speaking, drillers are allowed to do this in limited circumstances under federal law, but the process of cleaning salt-, heavy-metal-, and chemical-laden waste water to the point it would meet state or federal water standards is so costly that it’s rarely done, experts say. At some point, if your disposal options are limited or it becomes so expensive you’re having to truck water to be disposed of several hundred miles away, companies will do it,” said Jared Craighead, legal counsel to Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton.
While wastewater reuse is an option for oil and gas operations, it is an imperative for space travel. With payload weight at a premium, recycling is the only way to provide potable water for journeys longer than a few days, said Mark Jernigan, executive director of Rice Space Institute at Rice University and associate director, exploration systems development, human health and performance directorate at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). "The desire for NASA is to reclaim water so we don't have to bring so much," said Jernigan, who spoke at a meeting of the SPE Gulf Coast Section's Waste and Water Management Study Group. The space agency has made a great deal of progress since its first manned spaceflight, which had no water recycling capabilities. The International Space Station, which has had at least one astronaut on board at all times since 2000, is now able to recycle 85% of its waste water.
Research and development firm Battelle is working on a new induced-seismicity study that aims to help wastewater disposal well operators in Ohio stay on the good side of state regulators. Expected to be completed later this year, the company says the study will be the first to quantify a disposal well's potential to cause an earthquake. Concern over disposal wells in Ohio was brought to the fore when a series of earthquakes jolted residents of Youngstown, Ohio, in late 2011. A disposal well near downtown was assigned responsibility for the tremors and regulators responded by shuttering that well along with several located nearby--the scenario Battelle is hoping its study can prevent from happening again. "It's really a risk-based mapping study," said Srikanta Mishra, a senior research leader and energy fellow with Battelle.
The presence of excessive levels of organic components in produced water can lead to costly problems for operators ranging from clogged membranes in treatment facilities to environmental issues and compliance with government permits. Having adequate technologies and processes for measuring organics may be a solid economic strategy for operators. Johnny Robinson, an organics monitoring process sales manager at GE, spoke about the importance of analyzing and controlling the levels of total organic carbon (TOC) in waste water during a short course on water management held by the Global Petroleum Research Institute at Texas A&M University. Robinson outlined three metrics for monitoring organics in water: biological oxygen demand (BOD), the quantity of oxygen used by microorganisms in the oxidation of organic matter; chemi cal oxygen demand (COD), the amount of oxygen required to oxidize soluble and particulate organic matter in water; and TOC, the amount of carbon found in an organic compound. BOD and COD are the more commonly used metrics.
Reusing waste water from the oil field for hydraulic fracturing has become an important topic in the oil and gas industry, and it requires a thorough understanding of both the quality and quantity of the waste water. Models were developed for these wells for future water-production prediction. A spatial analysis was also conducted by comparing water production from each section with the gas/oil-ratio (GOR) value for each well. Results indicate that the GOR value of wells has a significant impact on water production in the first year of operation. Wells with low GOR value tend to have higher fracturing-flowback volume and, furthermore, water-recovery rate.
Jin, Fu (CNPC Engineering Technology R&D Company Ltd.) | Shunyuan, Zhang (CNPC Engineering Technology R&D Company Ltd.) | Bingshan, Liu (CNPC Engineering Technology R&D Company Ltd.) | Bo, Li (CNPC Engineering Technology R&D Company Ltd.) | Lisheng, Chen (Baoding Second Chemical Engineering Factory)
As a kind of methodology to develop coalbed methane in China, RMRS (Rotating Magnet Ranging System) has been popular in SAGD operation in recent years. In Liaohe Oilfield SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) is becoming a more and more mature methodology. In a pair of parallel wells high pressure steam is injected into a horizontal well to drain heavy oil into the lower production well. However, not all thermal resources have not been exploited, such as heat of the hot production fluid, flue gas and hot brine separated by the steam-water separator in the boiler.
Trials and researches were finalized on many dual-horizontal wells in Liaohe Oilfield to learn about the present situation and technical capabilities, while thermodynamic models of various types were established and experimental means were applied to analyze thermal distribution and each of the thermal sources previously mentioned. Effects of various media, flow rates and temperatures on thermal utilization and heat deficit rates were studied on the assumption that one ton crude oil was produced per hour.
Waste heat of flue gas may be utilized to help combust air and the thermo-coil may be used as the air preheater, which improves boiler’s heat efficiency. The high temperature production fluid may be used to heat water in the boiler first and then used as the heat source of the absorption heat pump, so that heat is transferred from the low temperature heat source to the high temperature heat source and the low grade heat energy is recycled. As a high grade waste heat, the HPHT brine that is separated from moist steam in the boiler takes up twenty percent of the total water and shall not be only used to heat injected water. Instead, it may be used to achieve flash evaporation. Thus, waste water is heated and distilled water is recycled.
The waste heat recyling model applies thermo-coil air preheaters to recycle flue gas and flash evaporated hot brine to evaporate waste water. Beside, hot production fluid is recycled to heat boiler water. On a basis of the same fuel consumption volume, the recovery rate and marketability of crude oil are both improved.