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Title: Recovery of Fresh Water Resources from Desalination of Brine Produced During Oil and Gas Production Operations

Abstract

Management and disposal of produced water is one of the most important problems associated with oil and gas (O&G) production. O&G production operations generate large volumes of brine water along with the petroleum resource. Currently, produced water is treated as a waste and is not available for any beneficial purposes for the communities where oil and gas is produced. Produced water contains different contaminants that must be removed before it can be used for any beneficial surface applications. Arid areas like west Texas produce large amount of oil, but, at the same time, have a shortage of potable water. A multidisciplinary team headed by researchers from Texas A&M University has spent more than six years is developing advanced membrane filtration processes for treating oil field produced brines The government-industry cooperative joint venture has been managed by the Global Petroleum Research Institute (GPRI). The goal of the project has been to demonstrate that treatment of oil field waste water for re-use will reduce water handling costs by 50% or greater. Our work has included (1) integrating advanced materials into existing prototype units and (2) operating short and long-term field testing with full size process trains. Testing at A&M has allowed usmore » to upgrade our existing units with improved pre-treatment oil removal techniques and new oil tolerant RO membranes. We have also been able to perform extended testing in 'field laboratories' to gather much needed extended run time data on filter salt rejection efficiency and plugging characteristics of the process train. The Program Report describes work to evaluate the technical and economical feasibility of treating produced water with a combination of different separation processes to obtain water of agricultural water quality standards. Experiments were done for the pretreatment of produced water using a new liquid-liquid centrifuge, organoclay and microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes for the removal of hydrocarbons from produced water. The results of these experiments show that hydrocarbons from produced water can be reduced from 200 ppm to below 29 ppm level. Experiments were also done to remove the dissolved solids (salts) from the pretreated produced water using desalination membranes. Produced water with up to 45,000 ppm total dissolved solids (TDS) can be treated to agricultural water quality water standards having less than 500 ppm TDS. The Report also discusses the results of field testing of various process trains to measure performance of the desalination process. Economic analysis based on field testing, including capital and operational costs, was done to predict the water treatment costs. Cost of treating produced water containing 15,000 ppm total dissolved solids and 200 ppm hydrocarbons to obtain agricultural water quality with less than 200 ppm TDS and 2 ppm hydrocarbons range between $0.5-1.5 /bbl. The contribution of fresh water resource from produced water will contribute enormously to the sustainable development of the communities where oil and gas is produced and fresh water is a scarce resource. This water can be used for many beneficial purposes such as agriculture, horticulture, rangeland and ecological restorations, and other environmental and industrial application.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Texas Engineering Experiment Station
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
924713
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-03NT15427
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; BRINES; DESALINATION; DRINKING WATER; ECONOMIC ANALYSIS; FRESH WATER; HYDROCARBONS; JOINT VENTURES; MEMBRANES; OIL FIELDS; PRODUCTION; SEPARATION PROCESSES; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT; TESTING; WASTE WATER; WATER; WATER QUALITY; WATER TREATMENT

Citation Formats

David B. Burnett, and Mustafa Siddiqui. Recovery of Fresh Water Resources from Desalination of Brine Produced During Oil and Gas Production Operations. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/924713.
David B. Burnett, & Mustafa Siddiqui. Recovery of Fresh Water Resources from Desalination of Brine Produced During Oil and Gas Production Operations. United States. doi:10.2172/924713.
David B. Burnett, and Mustafa Siddiqui. Fri . "Recovery of Fresh Water Resources from Desalination of Brine Produced During Oil and Gas Production Operations". United States. doi:10.2172/924713. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/924713.
@article{osti_924713,
title = {Recovery of Fresh Water Resources from Desalination of Brine Produced During Oil and Gas Production Operations},
author = {David B. Burnett and Mustafa Siddiqui},
abstractNote = {Management and disposal of produced water is one of the most important problems associated with oil and gas (O&G) production. O&G production operations generate large volumes of brine water along with the petroleum resource. Currently, produced water is treated as a waste and is not available for any beneficial purposes for the communities where oil and gas is produced. Produced water contains different contaminants that must be removed before it can be used for any beneficial surface applications. Arid areas like west Texas produce large amount of oil, but, at the same time, have a shortage of potable water. A multidisciplinary team headed by researchers from Texas A&M University has spent more than six years is developing advanced membrane filtration processes for treating oil field produced brines The government-industry cooperative joint venture has been managed by the Global Petroleum Research Institute (GPRI). The goal of the project has been to demonstrate that treatment of oil field waste water for re-use will reduce water handling costs by 50% or greater. Our work has included (1) integrating advanced materials into existing prototype units and (2) operating short and long-term field testing with full size process trains. Testing at A&M has allowed us to upgrade our existing units with improved pre-treatment oil removal techniques and new oil tolerant RO membranes. We have also been able to perform extended testing in 'field laboratories' to gather much needed extended run time data on filter salt rejection efficiency and plugging characteristics of the process train. The Program Report describes work to evaluate the technical and economical feasibility of treating produced water with a combination of different separation processes to obtain water of agricultural water quality standards. Experiments were done for the pretreatment of produced water using a new liquid-liquid centrifuge, organoclay and microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes for the removal of hydrocarbons from produced water. The results of these experiments show that hydrocarbons from produced water can be reduced from 200 ppm to below 29 ppm level. Experiments were also done to remove the dissolved solids (salts) from the pretreated produced water using desalination membranes. Produced water with up to 45,000 ppm total dissolved solids (TDS) can be treated to agricultural water quality water standards having less than 500 ppm TDS. The Report also discusses the results of field testing of various process trains to measure performance of the desalination process. Economic analysis based on field testing, including capital and operational costs, was done to predict the water treatment costs. Cost of treating produced water containing 15,000 ppm total dissolved solids and 200 ppm hydrocarbons to obtain agricultural water quality with less than 200 ppm TDS and 2 ppm hydrocarbons range between $0.5-1.5 /bbl. The contribution of fresh water resource from produced water will contribute enormously to the sustainable development of the communities where oil and gas is produced and fresh water is a scarce resource. This water can be used for many beneficial purposes such as agriculture, horticulture, rangeland and ecological restorations, and other environmental and industrial application.},
doi = {10.2172/924713},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Dec 29 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Fri Dec 29 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Produced water is a major waste generated at the oil and natural gas wells in the state of Texas. This water could be a possible source of new fresh water to meet the growing demands of the state after treatment and purification. Treatment of brine generated in oil fields or produced water with an ultrafiltration membranes were the subject of this thesis. The characterization of ultrafiltration membranes for oil and suspended solids removal of produced water, coupled with the reverse osmosis (RO) desalination of brine were studied on lab size membrane testing equipment and a field size testing unit tomore » test whether a viable membrane system could be used to treat produced water. Oil and suspended solids were evaluated using turbidity and oil in water measurements taken periodically. The research considered the effect of pressure and flow rate on membrane performance of produced water treatment of three commercially available membranes for oily water. The study also analyzed the flux through the membrane and any effect it had on membrane performance. The research showed that an ultrafiltration membrane provided turbidity removal of over 99% and oil removal of 78% for the produced water samples. The results indicated that the ultrafiltration membranes would be asset as one of the first steps in purifying the water. Further results on selected RO membranes showed that salt rejection of greater than 97% could be achieved with satisfactory flux and at reasonable operating cost.« less
  • This study is developing a comprehensive study of what is involved in the desalination of oil field produced brine and the technical developments and regulatory changes needed to make the concept a commercial reality. It was originally based on ''conventional'' produced water treatment and reviewed (1) the basics of produced water management, (2) the potential for desalination of produced brine in order to make the resource more useful and available in areas of limited fresh water availability, and (3) the potential beneficial uses of produced water for other than oil production operations. Since we have begun however, a new areamore » of interest has appeared that of brine water treatment at the well site. Details are discussed in this technical progress report. One way to reduce the impact of O&G operations is to treat produced brine by desalination. The main body of the report contains information showing where oil field brine is produced, its composition, and the volume available for treatment and desalination. This collection of information all relates to what the oil and gas industry refers to as ''produced water management''. It is a critical issue for the industry as produced water accounts for more than 80% of all the byproducts produced in oil and gas exploration and production. The expense of handling unwanted waste fluids draws scarce capital away for the development of new petroleum resources, decreases the economic lifetimes of existing oil and gas reservoirs, and makes environmental compliance more expensive to achieve. More than 200 million barrels of produced water are generated worldwide each day; this adds up to more than 75 billion barrels per year. For the United States, the American Petroleum Institute estimated about 18 billion barrels per year were generated from onshore wells in 1995, and similar volumes are generated today. Offshore wells in the United States generate several hundred million barrels of produced water per year. Internationally, three barrels of water are produced for each barrel of oil. Production in the United States is more mature; the US average is about 7 barrels of water per barrel of oil. Closer to home, in Texas the Permian Basin produces more than 9 barrels of water per barrel of oil and represents more than 400 million gallons of water per day processed and re-injected.« less
  • Options for brine disposal in New York State are limited and add an economic burden to the state's oil and gas producers. The purpose of the study was to evaluate new and existing options for the disposal of brines generated in New York State. New York State annually generates 400,000 to 600,000 bbl. of highly saline brine, which are disposed by: (1) roadspreading, (2) underground injection, or (3) commercial treatment facility (none located in New York). Roadspreading is the least expensive method. Methods 2 and 3 are used generally only when brines cannot be roadspread.
  • Produced water from oil and gas operations, or brine as it is typically referred, may be characterized as being highly saline, with total dissolved solids greater than 100 g/L. If these bribes are disposed improperly there may be severe adverse environmental effects. Thus, it is important that brine be disposed using environmentally sound methods. Unfortunately, costs for the disposal of brine water are a significant burden to oil and gas producers in New York State. These costs and the relatively low market price of oil and natural gas have contributed to the decline in gas and oil production in Newmore » York State during the past 10 years. The objectives of this study were to evaluate new and existing options for brine disposal in New York State, examine the technical and economic merits of these options, and assess environmental impacts associated with each option. Two new disposal options investigated for New York State oil and gas producers included construction of a regional brine treatment facility to treat brine prior to discharge into a receiving water and a salt production facility that utilizes produced water as a feed stock. Both options are technically feasible; however, their economic viability depends on facility size and volume of brine treated.« less
  • The project is titled 'Identification, Verification, and Compilation of Produced Water Management Practices for Conventional Oil and Gas Production Operations'. The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is the principal investigator and the IOGCC has partnered with ALL Consulting, Inc., headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in this project. State agencies that also have partnered in the project are the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation, the Kansas Oil and Gas Conservation Division, the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Conservation Division and the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.more » The objective is to characterize produced water quality and management practices for the handling, treating, and disposing of produced water from conventional oil and gas operations throughout the industry nationwide. Water produced from these operations varies greatly in quality and quantity and is often the single largest barrier to the economic viability of wells. The lack of data, coupled with renewed emphasis on domestic oil and gas development, has prompted many experts to speculate that the number of wells drilled over the next 20 years will approach 3 million, or near the number of current wells. This level of exploration and development undoubtedly will draw the attention of environmental communities, focusing their concerns on produced water management based on perceived potential impacts to fresh water resources. Therefore, it is imperative that produced water management practices be performed in a manner that best minimizes environmental impacts. This is being accomplished by compiling current best management practices for produced water from conventional oil and gas operations and to develop an analysis tool based on a geographic information system (GIS) to assist in the understanding of watershed-issued permits. That would allow management costs to be kept in line with the specific projects and regions, which increases the productive life of wells and increases the ultimate recoverable reserves in the ground. A case study was conducted in Wyoming to validate the applicability of the GIS analysis tool for watershed evaluations under real world conditions. Results of the partnered research will continue to be shared utilizing proven methods, such as on the IGOCC Web site, preparing hard copies of the results, distribution of documented case studies, and development of reference and handbook components to accompany the interactive internet-based GIS watershed analysis tool. Additionally, there have been several technology transfer seminars and presentations. The goal is to maximize the recovery of our nation's energy reserves and to promote water conservation.« less