Produced water is a term used in the oil industry to describe water that is produced as a by-product along with the oil and gas. Oil and gas reservoirs often have water as well as hydrocarbons, sometimes in a zone that lies under the hydrocarbons, and sometimes in the same zone with the oil and gas.
Treatment of produced water is a critical process to ensure re-injected water is cleaned to a designated level to prevent well bore damage and loss of future protection. It is also important to treat produced water to separate oil, water and solids to meet regulatory requirements for discharge as well as protecting downstream processes of the application.
The treatment of produced water will differ depending on the intended disposal method or the re-use purpose. Some common methods of treatment include filtration, cyclonic separation, backwash removal systems, flotation, evaporation, and the success or failure will be specific to the application and process parameters.
There are numerous benefits for companies that need to deal with produced water and these are both from an operational and production perspective as well as meeting defined environmental regulations.