Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Produced Water Desalination

7 October 2019

Saltworks completed two successful live oil field pilots, desalinating enhanced oil recovery (EOR) produced water. The objective was to lower the clients’ polymer consumption costs and improve the quality of injection water, in order to improve hydrocarbon recovery and lower operating cost. These objectives were met, with over 97% up-time. A video walk through of the pilot can be viewed here.  


For further background, some EOR practitioners add polymer to increase the viscosity (“thickness”) of injection water in order to recover more oil. Water returns to the surface as produced water, often more saline. Operators add expensive polymer back to this water to meet their injection viscosity goal. However, polymer consumption and costs increase dramatically with salinity. Polymer costs alone can be over $4-5/m3 injected. By desalinating the produced water prior to polymer addition, the following benefits can be realized:


  1. Reduced polymer consumption to meet the injection viscosity goal.
  2. Re-activate and recycle residual polymer in the produced water.
  3. Deliver an injection water with lower hardness, multivalent ions, and suspended solids which can improve well performance to recover more hydrocarbon.
  4. Increased water recycling, resulting in less produced water disposal and freshwater withdrawal.

The technology and products employed equally apply to other types of produced water desalination, where operators are seeking to treat produced water for discharge and/or to reduce disposal costs. Sign-up to download a presentation report, and/or contact Saltworks with your produced water challenge!

Download the free Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Pilot Results

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