In the oil and gas industry, standard water management operations include handling large volumes of water, both fresh water and brine water. Well completions including fracturing operations use very large amounts of water, some of which may be fresh water when injected downhole, but are mixed with formation fluids when flowing back to the surface. Production operations use produced brine to enhance petroleum production and maintain reservoir pressure. Different well operations require different water management strategies to minimize waste and to protect the environment. Generally water needs and issues can be grouped into two categories, drilling and completion including stimulation (fracturing) operations and production operations.
The Global Petroleum Research Institute at Texas A&M University has a significant effort ongoing to understand produced water management, including treatment. Further information about their activities may be found at:
The EFD Team is performing research to identify reliable and cost-effective pre-treatment methodologies for use in processes employed to treat and re-use field-produced brine and fracture flowback waters. The project aims to develop a mobile, multifunctional water treatment specifically for “pre-treatment” of field waste brine and conduct field tests of the technology.
Demonstrations are conducted using a trailer mounted platform that allows installation of multiple types of purification techniques that are a necessary precursor to the most common methods of flow back brine treatment, (thermal desalination processes and membrane desalination techniques).
The Global Petroleum Research Institute Mobile Lab is used to test the various methodologies. To view the lab, click here.