Management of produced water presents challenges and costs to operators. If the entire process of lifting, treating, and reinjecting can be avoided, costs are likely to be reduced. Oil and gas industry engineers have developed various technologies that separate oil from water or gas from water inside wells. These devices are known as downhole oil/water separators (DOWS, or according to some, DHOWS) and downhole gas/water separators (DGWS). This paper summarizes a recent report by Argonne National Laboratory that provides data on 59 DOWS trials and 62 DGWS trials from around the world. The report focused on the performance success of each trial and the geological conditions of the producing and injection formations. The goal of the study was to identify the types of geological formations that would present the best chance of success for future DOWS or DGWS trials. Upon reviewing these DOWS and DGWS installations, we concluded that it was not possible to predict the success of an installation solely on the basis of the geology of the production formation or injection formation.

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