Since 1987 EPA regulations applying to produced water discharge in the Gulf of Mexico have become increasingly stringent and have made it increasingly difficult for many platforms to remain in compliance with respect to oil content in the overboard produced water. In the North Sea a similar situation exists with respect to oil content specifications on discharged produced water set by regulatory agencies in the various North Sea sectors.

Because of this situation an intensive product development program was initiated to develop new water clarifiers that would allow the existing offshore water treating systems in the Gulf of Mexico and North Sea to treat the overboard water to meet the new stricter specifications pertaining to the overboard discharge of produced water.

This paper discusses the development of these new dithiocarbamate (DTC) based water clarifiers which effectively reduce insoluble hydrocarbon in offshore water treating systems where other conventional and first generation dithiocarbamate water clarifiers have been found to be ineffective, create unmanageable side effects, or are less cost effective.

Product selection and application techniques for these new dithiocarbamate water clarifiers and conventional water clarifiers are also discussed along with observations concerning the advantages and disadvantages of various types of offshore water treatment systems and equipment.

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