Since the discoveries of West Kuwait (WK) oil fields, and for 40 years before commissioning the Minagish water injection plant (MNWIP), all effluent water from WK fields was disposed off into huge evaporation pits. And, as a result of a thin layer of oil forming on the top, the rate of evaporation was reduced and in some cases completely eliminated which left large amounts of effluent water in those pits. This practice subjected all animal life to be affected and threatened. Moreover, the seepage of water into the ground and mixing with spring water caused multiple concerns. Polluting the water and hence making it hazardous for usage and consumption. Therefore, it was considered to be a health and an environmental hazard to continue with this practice.
Water management in WK was designed to integrate all effluent water from gathering centers in WK through the Effluent Water Transfer System (EWTS) and the MNWIP. All effluent water is transferred from the gathering centers through the EWTS to the MNWIP for re-injection into the Minagish Oolite (MO) reservoir in the Minagish field (MN) for pressure maintenance. The reinjection of all effluent water produced from WK fields into the MO reservoir has significantly increased reservoir pressure. This operation increases the well potential (oil production) and helps insure that oil production is available to fill the gathering centers to meet oil export demands. Also, disposal wells were drilled to inject off spec or surplus water into the Shuaiba reservoir as a back-up plan in case of any planned or unplanned shutdown of the MNWIP.
Since mid-2003, all effluent water in WK has been routinely disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner with no discharges to pits and in return, increased reservoir pressure which will have huge economical benefits.
The environmental impact from disposing off into large disposal and evaporation pits
The total production from all WK fields and the unique and complex network of transfer lines between all centers to gather effluent water and disposal design.
The economic impact from injecting effluent water to re-pressurize a constantly depleting reservoir.