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Produced Water Treatment Project Updates

Posted by: Dr Ming Yang Date: 07 Jun 2023

Produced water is an inevitable by-product in oil and gas production. For the offshore oil and gas industry, most of this produced water is discharged following the treatment and cleaning of this water.

The discharge of this water is strictly regulated by the regulators in the UK and other countries. However, due to the large quantity of this produced water being discharged, even with a tiny amount of residue oil, it could still lead to a significant quantity of oil being discharged into the ocean. Under calm weather conditions, such discharges may also lead to the occurrence of an oil sheen, which can be a nuisance, and also pose a potential threat to marine life, in particular, sea birds.

TÜV SÜD have been actively supporting both the industry and regulators over the past two decades on produced water topics through research, testing, knowledge transfer, training, and consultancy. The ultimate aim of these activities is to promote information sharing, best management and measurement practices that would lead to oil and gas production in a safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable manner.

Recently, TÜV SÜD have been conducting Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) into specific topic areas such as the use of online oil-in-water analysers for oil in produced water discharge monitoring and reporting. The outcome of these projects is expected to improve existing best practice guidance in the near future. TÜV SÜD have also been conducting projects into oil sheen formation from the discharge of produced water. These projects are aimed at understanding the frequency of oil sheen occurrences in oil and gas production offshore, the mechanisms behind sheen formation, and its impact on the marine environment as well as how to mitigate them.

Sheen formation from the discharge of produced water is a subject that is currently being addressed by the top regulator OSPAR (Oslo-Paris) Commission.

For more information on our activities related to produced water management and oil-in-water measurement, please contact us.

You might also be interested in TÜV SÜD's Produced Water Club which is a leading forum for discussing oil and gas produced water management and measurement issues. We also offer a range of flow measurement training courses.


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