Injection Strategy and Best Practices for Managing Produced Water

Presented at SPE Asia Pacific Health, Safety and Environment Conference and Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 2005.


Production optimisation and improving a project’s net present value (NPV) for global hydrocarbon producers need strategies for produced water management (PWM), in order to eliminate significant economic and environmental barriers. PWM issues hamper production by restricting additional development or adding costs (US$0.15 to US$2.50/barrel of oil (BoO)). Operators raise the economic limit for well operability or abandon existing wells, while substantial recoverable reserves remain in situ. PWM poses the biggest challenge yet offers considerable benefits to brownfield operators. While operators around the globe experience identical problems, local conditions and requirements dictate that solutions are region-specific. Regions can vary significantly and boundaries may be set geologically, geographically or politically. An obvious example is PMW in offshore deepwater conditions in contrast to onshore and/or the Arctic or other sensitive areas. PWM issues are multi-faceted. In many cases, the overall solution may require several separate steps for complete resolution (reduction, chemical removal, profile control, separation, treatment, disposal and waterflooding use, etc.). Hence, two dominating themes emerge from the stakeholders’ point of view the need for holistic PWM and the absence of ‘silver bullets’.