Hydrocarbon exploration, including oil and natural gas extraction from the earth’s crust, represents one of the ongoing inconsistencies of mankind’s global sustainability efforts. While environmental discussions of fossil fuels tend to focus on greenhouse gases emissions, the pollution discharged into our precious water sources is yet to come under the spotlight on the scale that it deserves.

Each barrel of produced oil equates to 3–5 barrels of disposed water. Approximately 200-300 million barrels of water are produced daily from both oil and gas fields, and more than 40% of this is discharged into the environment. Unfortunately, the treatment of oil and gas produced water, from the perspective of ethical wastewater disposal or recycling, is largely overlooked by both regulatory agencies and oil & gas producers.

The efficiency of silicon carbide ceramic membranes in polishing O&G produced water has been widely demonstrated from technical and economical standpoints. Crystar® filtration is a feasible solution for bridging the gap between essential fossil fuels and the worldwide pivot towards ethical processing – as far as the use of water is concerned. They represent a new horizon for produced water filtration. 

Efficient and Responsible Liquid Filtration

Conventional oil production processes typically involve:

  • Primary oil separation steps by gravity and hydrocyclones;
  • Secondary separation by flotation techniques;
  • Water polishing by nutshell filters and subsequent cartridges to reduce the oil content to below 30 ppm, which is the maximum oil content accepted by regulations for water disposal in several geographies in the world.
     

What does water look like at the end of this treatment? The inlaid picture shows a sample of water with “only” 10 ppm of dispersed oil and 20 ppm of suspended solids. It goes without saying that a more efficient water polishing technology, such as the one provided by Crystar® membranes, would be considerably more ethical for produced water disposal.
Oil & Gas Produced Water

Produced water re-injection in active wells is one of the best options to reduce the environmental impact of oil & gas exploration. Crystar® membranes allow facilities to consistently achieve the required water quality for re-injection in wells without generating risks of clogging or permeability reduction. Thanks to very high permeate fluxes (150 – 300 LMH), the ease of cleaning, and the capability to treat high temperature produced water, Crystar filtration is a robust and cost-effective technology capable of resolving the challenges of produced water management.

Click on the links below to check the outstanding performance of Crystar® membranes for oil-water separation.