Evaluation of Nanofiltration Membrane Process for Smartwater Production in Carbonate Reservoirs From Deoiled Produced Water and Seawater
- Remya Ravindran Nair (University of Stavanger) | Evgenia Protasova (University of Stavanger) | Torleiv Bilstad (University of Stavanger) | Skule Strand (University of Stavanger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- May 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 409 - 420
- 2019.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- produced water, smart water, phosphate, nanofiltration, scaling
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 110 since 2007
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This research focuses on membrane-separation efficiencies by adjusting the ionic composition of deoiled produced water (PW) and evaluates the possibility for smartwater production from PW for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in carbonate reservoirs. Key characteristics of smartwater for carbonate reservoirs are increased concentrations of divalent ions and low concentrations of monovalent ions compared with seawater.
In this research, PW was pretreated with media filters, which resulted in 96 to 98% oil removal. This deoiled PW was used as feed for nanofiltration (NF) membranes. Combinations of NF retentate with seawater as feed and NF permeate from PW were considered. PW NF permeate, mixed with seawater spiked with multivalent ions, sulfate (SO2-4), or phosphate (PO3-4), is expected to alter the wettability of oil reservoirs.
NF-membrane performance was evaluated in terms of flux and the separation efficiencies of the key scaling ions calcium (Ca) and barium (Ba). The tested membranes removed 60% of Ca2+ and 53% of Ba2+, thereby reducing the scaling tendency. No membrane fouling was observed during the experiments.
NF-treated PW was analyzed for solubility of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). The results showed no Ca dissolution, which could affect chalk-reservoir compaction. This research also reflects the use of nonprecipitating PO3-4 for smartwater production, simultaneously decreasing the Ba concentration and the scaling potential of PW. The results obtained conclude that spiking PO3-4 below 12 mM showed no indication of chalk dissolution during equilibration tests at room temperature. Experiments performed with 44 mM of PO3-4 resulted in calcium phosphate [Ca3(PO4)2] precipitation.
A process scheme is proposed for smartwater production by ionic selection from seawater and PW at an operating pressure of 18 bar. Energy-consumption analysis for smartwater production before membrane treatment concluded NF to be economic over other desalination technologies. The power consumed by NF membranes for smartwater production at 18 bar is calculated at 0.88 kWh/m3, whereas the power consumed is 51.22 and 103.52 kWh/m3 for reverse osmosis (RO) and multistage flash distillation (MSF), respectively.
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