The current Oil-in-Water (OiW) regulations, measuring only dispersed oil and grease content, have been practiced for long time without any significant improvement. This is whilst the major hazardous portion of produced water falls in dissolved components. Although, in recent years numerous technologies have been commercialized for online measurement and treatment of the entire components of produced water, the regulations have not been updated, except for some limited regions.

Given the international awareness of sustainability and the move towards zero discharge, it seems that the environmental authorities have delayed in upgrading their current unsustainable "oil-and-grease" regulations with more accurate ones. It is recommendable to the prospective field developers/operators to take into account the dissolved components of produced water and consider the economic consequences of adopting tertiary produced water polishing technologies.

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