Produced water (PW) is the most significant waste product in oil and gas exploitation, and numerous challenges are associated with its treatment. For over half a century, PW treatment and handling have evolved from a waste product to a reusable stream for the petroleum industry. PW is reused and recycled for hydrocarbon recovery processes, well completion, stimulation, drilling, etc. Despite this usage, enormous volumes are still required to be disposed of in the subsurface aquifers or surface water bodies after treatment. Challenges to PW treatment are related mainly to widely varying PW characteristics, nonuniformity of water treatment systems for different fields, and difficulty in designing novel technology due to changing production rates and other design parameters. This paper focuses on purpose-specific water treatment units used in various activities within the oil and gas industries and technological advancement. A detailed account of the historical development of current water treatment practices, disposal, available technology, and challenges in implementation are presented. Forward-looking recommendations are given on how emerging technologies can be integrated into everyday oil and gas activities to achieve the purpose-specific treatment goal.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology