Market News

 August 22, 2007
Beneficial Re-Use of Oil & Gas Produced Water

 Calgary, Canada - The Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) Water Planning and Innovation Committee (WIPC) has recently completed a scoping study to examine issues and opportunities associated with beneficial re-use of produced water which represents a potential mechanism for the oil and gas industry to contribute to water use efficiency conservation.

This study is in line with PTAC mandate to facilitate innovation, technology development and Alberta's Water For Life Strategy which has establishes a target of 30% conservation and efficiency gains by 2015.

Study funding was provided by AERI, Alberta Environment and Alberta Energy. Fossil Water Corporation was contracted to carry out the study in partnership with Macleod Dixon and Baseline Water Resource Inc.

The study included an examination of:

  • Water quantity/quality
  • Treatment processes
  • Regulatory controls
  • Liability issues
  • Identification of strategic areas for further work.

Cumulatively, an average of 720,000 m3/day of water is disposed of in 1,471 wells across Alberta. Disposal volumes are concentrated in 18 areas with the largest clusters near Redwater, Provost, Taber and Bellshill Lake. Conventional production yields waters with TDS ranging from 30,000 to > 320,000 mg/L while coalbed methane water production varies in quantity and quality.

The study presents a detailed breakdown of global existing technologies and their commercial availability, strengths and weaknesses and R&D as are current documented beneficial uses including source water, treatment technology and project references.

The poorly understood regulatory framework surrounding produced water is examined in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan as are liability issues associated with produced water, wildly seen as a major barrier to reuse.

Finally, the study highlights five key focus areas which PTAC's WIPC will be assessing. These focus areas include: enhanced characterization of physical and chemical properties; further refinement of process treatment trains; streamlined approval processes; enhanced monitoring and reporting using codes of practice; and, creation of economic incentives to promote beneficial re-use and substitution for other surface water uses.

Read the SCOPING STUDY: Produced Water Beneficial Re-Use -- High TDS Waters (PDF).

Source: Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada .