Preparation of Water for Injection Into Oil Reservoirs
- Paul Dwight Torrey (Orchem Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 1955
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 9 - 16
- 1955. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 3.4.5 Bacterial Contamination and Control, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 5.8.7 Carbonate Reservoir, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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The most important item in the injection of water into oil reservoirs is the water supply itself. Not only is a certain source of supply essential, but the quality of the water is also of great importance.
Nature rarely provides chemically pure or bacteria free water in any substantial quantities. Water, whatever its source, ordinarily contains a variety of impurities which may be inorganic, organic, or both. Even though these impurities may be present in very minute quantities, their existence must be recognized in almost every water injection system. However, the taste, the odor, or the toxicity of the water, important items where water is to be used for human consumption, are relatively unimportant in oil field use. The two principal problems connected with the use of water to improve oil recovery are possible reaction with the reservoir and its contents, and whether the water will cause destruction of surface and subsurface equipment by corrosion.
In the early days of secondary waterflooding operations in the Bradford and Allegany fields, little attention was given to the preparation of water, for an ample supply of fresh water of good quality was available from shallow aquifers and from surface streams. In the Southwest and particularly in Texas no such fortuitous conditions exist. In most parts of Texas, suffering as they have from recurring and progressively ruinous years of drought, the oil industry will have little call on the limited supplies of fresh water, and therefore must resort to water resources of inferior quality. In almost every case such waters will require some form of treatment before they will be suitable for injection into oil reservoirs. Consequently, the importance of proper conditioning of water to be used for such purpose is now rather generally accepted.
The quantity of water that will be required for complete secondary recovery and pressure maintenance operations in the oil fields of Texas can be estimated in amounts of almost astronomical proportions. Studies recently completed by the Texas Petroleum Research Committee indicate some 10.5 billion bbl of oil that is physically recoverable by injection of water into the reservoirs. It is roughly estimated that approximately 15 billion bbl of water will be required for this purpose. The water that will be available for these operations will have to come largely from subsurface salt water-bearing formations and probably to some extent from the open sea.
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