Water. desalination + reuse

February/March 2013

Water. Desalination + reuse

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IDA OIL & GAS CONFERENCE BANFF, CANADA l 12-14 MAY 2013 Modular drinking and process water buildings with Nutshell filter pressure vessels in the background bound for the oil sands fields of Fort McMurray in Northern Alberta Oil and Water – Can We Make Them Mix? _________ Guillaume Clairet, vice president, strategic business development, H2O Innovation, and IDA director ___ ON 12-14 MAY 2013, the International Desalination Association will present its first conference devoted to water reuse and desalination specifically for the oil & gas industry. Held right next to the heart of the oil sands in Banff, Alberta, Canada, Water Recycling and Desalination for the Oil & Gas Industry will include sessions that explain the challenges and opportunities that abound for players on both sides of the aisle. While we all know that oil and water don't mix (literally), there is great benefit to sharing and integrating into our thought processes information from both perspectives. This kind of figurative "mixing" will create a better understanding that benefits both of our industries. Water reuse and desalination technologies are essential to the process of exploring and extracting oil, natural gas and unconventional gas (eg, shale gas) from reserves and wells around the world (the "upstream" oil and gas industry sector). Since oil extractions methods such as SAGD (steam assisted gravity drainage) can take up to four barrels of water to produce only one barrel of oil, exciting opportunities arise for those of us engaged in desalination and water reuse activities. As an example, a single oil platform on the coasts of Brazil or Angola, where sulfate removal is required for oil-recovery operations, can have a reverse-osmosis system as large as 30,000 m3/d. If this were a municipal installation, it would produce enough desalinated water for more than 150,000 people. Then consider how water is used in the well preparation and the extraction process. The more conventional oil reserves are used, the more water will be needed to access the residual reserves in the given wells. In others words, the first 30-35% of oil in a well is generally relatively easy to obtain through conventional recovery means, but the closer you get to the end of the well reserve, the more water you February-March 2013 | Desalination & Water Reuse | 45 |

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