The success or failure of secondary and tertiary recovery operations can depend in large measure on maintaining the quality of the water chosen to carry the EOR chemicals and to displace and move the oil through the formation matrix toward the producing wells.

Some commonly accepted indicators of poor water quality include the presence of corrosion and its by-products, carbonate and sulfate scale formation and deposition, oxygen and elevated dissolved acid gas levels, high bacterial populations, heavy suspended solids load and oil carryover.

At present, engineers and operators typically rely on periodic, yet relatively infrequent, monitoring of the injection water in order to obtain the data necessary for good water management. Periodic monitoring however may allow occasional but potentially damaging system upsets to occur without detection.

The relative uncertainty of intermittent sampling can be greatly reduced by combining the benefits of continuous in-line filtration with controlled flow rates, accumulated volume, and monitoring of scale and corrosion tendencies. Changes in water quality can therefore be quickly recognized and appropriate, timely measures initiated.

This paper discusses the installation of a Water Quality Control Station, the individual components, and the contribution of each to the definition of water quality problems. A key field case history is presented to show how the concept is applied.

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