Produced water recycling approach attracts international attention

Produced water recycling approach attracts international attention

NETL-funded analysis right into a hydraulic fracturing water recycling strategy utilizing pure filtration and biogenic exercise in particular layers of rock attracts worldwide consideration with ‘extremely recommended’ recognition in sponsored world competitors by a acknowledged engineering group.

The College of North Dakota Power and Environmental Analysis Heart’s Produced Water Administration By means of Geologic Homogenization, Conditioning, and Reuse (GHCR) undertaking, developed in partnership with the Petroleum and fuel from the North Dakota Industrial Fee and Nuverra Environmental Options, was a finalist within the Oil and Fuel class of the 2022 Establishment of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) World Awards.

The undertaking was funded by NETL and the Division of Power’s Workplace of Fossil Power and Carbon Administration.

Whereas first place within the competitors went to College Faculty London, UK, for its analysis efforts on the precious chemical methane, GHCR’s analysis acquired the “extremely recommended” designation.

Based in 1922, UK-based IChemE is the internationally acknowledged discovered society for chemical, biochemical and course of engineers. The group advances the contribution of chemical engineering to the good thing about society.

When hydrocarbons are recovered from oil and fuel formations by hydraulic fracturing, important quantities of excessive salinity water are sometimes co-produced. This water is mostly referred to as “produced water”.

In line with a Duke College examine, “vitality firms used practically 250 billion gallons of water to extract unconventional shale fuel and oil from hydraulically fractured wells in america between 2005 and 2014… Throughout the identical interval, fractured wells generated an estimated 210 billion gallons of wastewater.

The GHCR idea presents a brand new strategy to recycling produced water from oil and fuel extraction, significantly within the Bakken area of North Dakota. With water demand from vitality industries set to double within the coming years, cautious water administration is crucial to make sure that native communities have an enough provide of consuming water.

NETL’s Joseph Renk, who served as undertaking supervisor on the analysis effort, mentioned that within the GHCR course of, produced water is pumped again underground the place it advantages from pure filtration and biogenic exercise. geological strata to take away contaminants, together with suspended and natural solids.

“Laboratory exams and area samples have indicated that North Dakota Inyan Kara sandstone and native formation fluids are able to treating, stabilizing and homogenizing produced water to some extent the place it may be recycled and reused,” Renk mentioned. “Recycled water will be reused in hydraulic fracturing to scale back the oil and fuel trade’s demand for recent water.”

The brand new strategy presents a variety of different advantages, together with:

  • Reusing handled water can relieve formation strain, permitting new oil wells to be drilled extra economically.
  • GHCR fluid extraction can lengthen the lifetime of conventional saltwater disposal wells
  • The idea eliminates the necessity for floor storage of produced water and may make the most of current infrastructure corresponding to pipelines and wells.
  • GHCR practically eliminates the necessity to handle extremely concentrated brines and naturally occurring radioactive supplies usually related to produced water therapy and reuse.

Water administration is a vital technical and financial problem for the sustainable manufacturing of oil and fuel. North Dakota’s oil manufacturing elevated to over 1.5 million barrels (Mbbl)/day in 2019. After a short drop in oil costs in the beginning of 2020, North Dakota’s oil manufacturing has returned to 1.1 MMbbl/day in August 2021.

“Produced water recycling just isn’t but widespread,” Renk defined. “However as water administration continues to be a focus in company environmental, social and governance initiatives, the give attention to water administration, together with recycling, will proceed to extend. “

NETL conducts and helps analysis into vitality useful resource sustainability efforts that: maximize the effectivity of useful resource restoration; scale back environmental impacts; discount of exploration and manufacturing dangers; enhancing the effectivity and resilience of pure fuel transmission; and scale back useful resource manufacturing prices.

NETL companions with trade, universities, know-how builders, authorities businesses and different nationwide laboratories to make sure the effectiveness and effectivity of analysis tasks throughout its portfolio.

NETL is a U.S. Division of Power Nationwide Laboratory that drives innovation and supplies know-how options for an environmentally affluent and sustainable vitality future. By leveraging its expertise and world-class analysis services, NETL ensures reasonably priced, considerable and dependable vitality that drives a sturdy economic system and nationwide safety, whereas growing applied sciences to handle carbon all through the life cycle. life, enabling environmental sustainability for all People.

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