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Produced water

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Produced water refers to water that is generated when gas and oil are extracted from below the surface. Originally water is formed below the gas and oil deposit as a water layer in the gas and oil deposits under the hydrocarbons. The gas reservoirs have little water deposits while the oil reservoirs have a big volume of hydro deposits. Normally so as to surface the oil up to the earth water is pumped into the reservoirs. Thereafter the pumped water and formed water together with the oil are produced. Hence the more you pump out oil the more water volumes are produced. This water usually was vaporized in large evaporating ponds. That water was considered an industrial waste but nowadays they are required to employ beneficial uses for the produced water. that was not considered as an unacceptable environmental malpractice. If the correct discharge practices of produced water are not used then it may have heavy impacts on both the environment and economy . Hence as it stands produced water remains a big challenge for industries affecting the overall production process. Technological installments which assist to handle separation of produce water with the oil or gas and so upon discharge it is purified to meet the discharge requirements. Some of these types of technologies applied are the in line gas-liquid separation, liquid-liquid separation and in line solid removal. The main contaminants which are kept at bay during purification of produced water; dissolved solids, grease and oil, dispersed oil, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, radionuclide, bacteria, chemicals and dissolved gases. Referring to a typical water treatment process in the oil and gas industry the following steps take place:

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Pretreatment which involves removing initial contaminants such as particles gas bubbles and large droplets. It involves also conditioning water during the upstream process. This entails use of facilities as dehydration tanks, storage tanks and strainers. Main treatment is the next process which includes both primary and secondary treatment which involves removal of particles large droplets and removal of small particles respectively. The facilities in this process include the skim tanks, API separators and plate pack interceptors for the primary stage and hydro cyclones gas floatation and centrifuges for the secondary treatment. Thirdly the polishing treatment follows which entails removal of ultra small droplets and particles and dispersed hydrocarbons. This is the final clean up before water is reinjected for disposal. Equipment includes media filters, cartridge filters and membranes. The final stage of the purification process involves removal of dissolved matter and gases .processes that take place in this stage include gas or stream stripping and carbon adsorption. Challenges that produced water faces include, high treatment cost, potential toxicity of produced water and lack of public confidence in the produced water. However there are also opportunities associated with produced water. For instance, that water treated as waste is considered a valuable resource in the agriculture and energy industries. These large deposits of water can be potential water sources. So long as produced water is treated according to set up disposals standards is released to the water bodies it will maintain the hydro cycle while at same time reducing waste of disposed water. Water is life.

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