Evaluation of Membrane Treatment Technology to Optimize and Reduce Hypersalinity Content of Produced Brine for Reuse in Unconventional Gas Wells
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Over 18 billion barrels of waste fluids are generated annually from oil and gas production in the United States. As a large amount of water is used for oilfield operations, treating and reusing produced water can cut the consumption of fresh water in well sites. This research has helped to develop a membrane process train for a mobile produced water treatment unit for treating oilfield produced brine for reuse. To design the process train, over 30 sets of combination tests at pilot laboratory scale were performed using pretreatment, microfiltration and nanofiltration processes. Membrane performance was selected based on high flux separation efficiency, high tolerance for solids and fluid treatments. Over 95 % solids rejection and greater than 80 % oil removal efficiency were obtained in all these tests. Process train (pre-treatment and membrane) performance was monitored by chemical analysis of permeate and models fitting experimental data for the process. From the results, hydrocarbon rejection was analyzed; total organic carbon rejection was 47.9 %, total carbon content averaged 37.3 % rejection and total inorganic carbon rejection was at 3.66 %. BTEX removal efficiency ranged from 0.98 % to 52.7 % with the progressive pretreatment methods of using cartridge filters. The nanofiltration membrane showed significant reduction in total dissolved solids and in both anionic and cationic species. The process train is seen to follow a sequence of treatment from cartridge and oil removal filter treatment to microfiltration treatment to ultrafiltration, followed by nanofiltration for the purpose of this research. Further research still needs to be done on to determine the kind of analytical test which will give real time feedback on effectiveness of filters. In summary, the process train developed by TAMU-GPRI possesses distinct advantages in treating oilfield produced brine using membrane technology. These advantages include high quality of permeate, reduced sludge and the possibility of total recycle water systems. The small space requirement, moderate capital costs and ease of operation associated with the use of the mobile unit membrane technology also makes it a very competitive alternative to conventional technologies.
Environmental Friendly Drilling
Oil and grease
Eboagwu, Uche (2011). Evaluation of Membrane Treatment Technology to Optimize and Reduce Hypersalinity Content of Produced Brine for Reuse in Unconventional Gas Wells. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from