ABERDEEN, UK — Adaptive Process Solutions (APS) has developed the Microbubble Infusion Unit (MiFU), designed to help operators of aging offshore facilities and reservoirs clean produced water to comply with regulatory standards prior to discharge back into the sea.
The system can process 1,000-100,000 bbl/d of water and remove up to 90% of oil and contaminants from produced water without the need for downstream filtration.
According to the company, gas flotation technology is an established method of treating produced water associated with crude oil production, but it no longer meets current requirements.
Many depleting reservoirs now produce up to a 90% water cut with 10% oil compared to a 10% water cut/90% oil when drilling first started. This means the original separation systems for processing the smaller volumes of produced water are no longer suitable.
The larger volume of produced water that has to be processed, APS added, can also lead to a bottleneck that slows down oil and gas production.
MiFU’s patented microbubble technology, machinery and processes can be retrofitted to existing water treatment systems with minimal adaptation and without the need for shutdowns, the company claims.
The system injects size and quantity-controlled gas microbubbles into the contaminated water stream, leading to improved bubble saturation and a variable size range. These bubbles attach to the minute particles of oil in the produced water and deliver the contaminated bubbles to the surface where they are skimmed off topside by separator for export.
Prior to shipping an MiFU offshore, produced water samples from the offshore facilities undergo laboratory testing offshore during a site survey to ensure compatibility.