Managing produced or brine water in oil production is one of the many challenges upstream oil production companies face today. As an oil field matures the oil that is remains becomes much heavier and eventually has an almost tar consistency. In addition to the oil becoming heavier in a mature field the amount of produced/brine water increases as well. For example, a 10 to 1 ratio of produced water to oil ratio is not uncommon. Oil companies must manage the produced water as well as continue oil production. To handle the produced/brine water an oil company will build a water softening plant to manage the produced/brine water. The softened water is used for non drinking water application such as irrigation and it used in steam production. The steam production is critical to oil production because the steam is used to liquefy the oil in a mature oil field.
Providing quality water from your industrial water softening facility is critical to generating quality steam. Having a reliable real time hardness analysis is the key to making quick process changes when the hardness exceeds 1 ppm of Calcium. Working with an Oil Company in the San Joaquin Valley we installed a continuous hardness monitoring analyzer. The analyzer consisted of an Ion selective sensor Calcium Sensor, a pH sensor, and a trace dissolved oxygen sensor. The system allows the customer to have a real-time analysis of the hardness of the water after the water has been processed through the water softening system and before it is sent to a steam generator for steam production. The steam generator is used for the injection of steam down hole in oil wells to liquefy the California heavy oil for oil and gas production.
The results have been very positive.
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