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Deep water oil production in Gulf of Mexico

Supplier: HYDAC International
10 June, 2014

The water injection process is used in both onshore and offshore oil production. Water is deliberately injected into the oil reservoir to prevent a fall in oil pumping pressure, thus increasing oil production efficiency.

Identifying the Problem

While the demand for oil and gas is increasing steadily worldwide, oil and gas companies are faced with the problem of falling pumping pressure in existing oil fields. In order to confront this problem, the process of water injection is used.

In principle, the water required for this can come from different sources – aquifers, produced water, make-up water, seawater or river water. This raises the question of water treatment. The quality of the water is of crucial significance for process safety and efficiency.

Inadequate water quality can have serious consequences, such as the failure of components, blocking of pipes or, in the worst case, even complete shutdown of the oil pumping process.

The Challenge

In the case of this offshore project, located in the deep water oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, seawater is used as the injection medium. Although seawater is the most convenient and the nearest medium, given its obvious availability, its treatment presents special challenges.

For even if the water abstraction point is deep enough to limit the intake of algae, for example, a thorough treatment process is still required.

The Solution

One of the first steps in the treatment of water is pre-filtration, followed by fine filtration. This is precisely where the HYDAC solution comes in.

Three HYDAC AutoFilt RF3 filters with a filtration rating of 50 μm are used as coarse filters, and then three HYDAC process inline filters PLF1 are installed further downstream to provide the fine filtration to 5 μm absolute.

In essence, the HYDAC filter solutions used in this application serve to protect the high pressure pumps and the membrane system.