News in brief

A roundup of the main developments regarding water in the oil & gas industry for August 29-September 25


On the heels of two recent long-term water midstream contract awards, NGL Energy Partners announced that its Water Solutions division had secured a service agreement extension and acreage dedication expansion with an unnamed existing customer in New Mexico’s Delaware Basin. The agreement now includes produced water management services over a total of 122,000 acres through 2027.
The Department of Energy (DoE) announced early results of a polymer flooding pilot project on Alaska’s North Slope. The project, which is the first of its kind on the North Slope, has reduced the water cut to 15% and increased oil production by around 700 bbl/d, as well as eliminating unexpected injectivity issues or polymer breakthroughs.
New Mexico’s Oil Conservation Division passed a rule obligating oil & gas operators to provide monthly data on water consumed in hydraulic fracturing operations as well as the water’s characteristics. The rule establishes four categories for water: oil & gas produced water, not produced water (more than 10,000 mg/l TDS), not produced water (1,000-10,000 mg/l TDS – brackish water), and not produced water (less than 1,000 mg/l TDS – freshwater).
Canadian startup Swirltex announced a financing round. The company, which has developed a buoyancy-based ultrafiltration technology for wastewater treatment, currently has a produced water recycling operation in Canada and has done testing with a major operator in the Permian Basin.
Digital fluid management solutions provider SitePro was chosen to work with Infinity Water Solutions on its first water management facility, IWS Federal 128 in the northern Delaware Basin. The facility will provide both produced water recycling and disposal services to Permian operators.


German chemical company BASF installed five new remotely operated polymer injection plants in Argentina to support enhanced oil recovery operations. The company said its high-molecular-weight polymer and polymer injection technologies would be used at an unnamed major oilfield.
FPSO services provider Yinson awarded VWS Westgarth, a subsidiary of Veolia Water Technologies, an EPC contract for a 240,000 bbl/d (38,000 m3) seawater treatment and injection system for the Anna Nery FPSO, which will become operational at Petrobras’ Marlim field offshore Brazil in 2023. The membrane-based system will remove sulfates to protect against reservoir souring as well as barium and strontium scaling.


Operator Ithaca Energy says it is preparing the second stage of a polymer flooding project in the North Sea’s Captain field. The company intends to expand polymer injection capacity at the field by adding 6 km of subsea pipelines and umbilicals, drilling six new injector wells and installing additional polymer pumps and storage tanks. Sanctioning of the project had been expected in H1 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic.


As part of the 2020 Special Meritorious Awards, Hart Energy named Saudi Aramco the Water Management Winner for its acoustic fines oil-water separation system. The three-phase separator allows for the removal of small amounts of fine oil droplets and particles from moving fluid streams. The technology can be used downhole to increase oil-to-water ratios, and on the surface to reduce produced water volumes.


Gradiant acquired Asian industrial water treatment firm Sigma Water Engineering in a move which it says will support operations across Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia. Sigma supplies solutions to several industrial sectors, including oil & gas.


DuPont Water Solutions added Ligasep hollow-fiber membrane degasification modules to its technology portfolio through an exclusive global partnership with Sun Chemical and its parent company. The modules offer “minimum water pressure drop with no added chemicals or airborne water contamination,” DuPont’s press statement said. Ligasep can be used to remove dissolved gases, reduce ionic load and prevent oxidation in industrial waters, including those used in oil & gas operations.
In a recently published paper titled A Review of Algae-Based Produced Water Treatment for Biomass and Biofuel Production, researchers at Lamar University’s Center for Midstream Management and Science summarized findings related to algae-based produced water treatment and cultivation of algae with produced water. The paper can be accessed here.
The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers published a new set of guidelines titled Risk-Based Assessment of Offshore Produced Water Discharges. The report, which can be downloaded for free, provides “a framework whereby the overall acceptability of the discharge can be assessed, and potential options identified to reduce risk and uncertainty.”