Abstract

The Kuwait Oil Company's (KOC's) future development plans propose an increase in the production and utilization of groundwater reserves in the northern oil fields, where new groundwater gathering centers are to be constructed for water handling processes. In order to preserve the natural resources of the country, and realizing the fragility of the fresh/brackish/saline coexistence in the groundwater resources of northern Kuwait, the Water Research Center (WRC) of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) conducted this study on behalf of KOC. The main objective of the project was to design, locate and set a production schedule of groundwater wells to produce 10,000 m3/d with salinity less than 10,000 mg/l for a specific period of time. This study will enhance the potential of utilizing brackish water at the project area while maintaining minimum mixing between brackish and saline groundwaters. To fulfill its objectives, this study conducted data collection followed by designing and constructing several production and observation wells that were used for a program of pumping and recovery tests. During this field work, a campaign of groundwater sampling and water level measurements were conducted. The water samples were analyzed in the appropriate laboratories for physical, chemical, and biological parameters according to international standards. Then, another stage of numerical modelling took place to simulate the movement of saline and brackish waters putting all the newly drilled wells into operation. The results showed that it is possible to extract 10,000 m3/day from the project area with a salinity ranging between 3,500 and 10,000 mg/l indicating brackish water quality. The groundwater in the study area is of sodium chloride and sodium sulphate type, and no organic contamination of groundwater was detected in the study area. However, the study also shows that it is not possible to extract water from certain locations because the salinity will be elevated above the design limit of 10,000 mg/l.

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