Event Examines Varying Challenges of Produced Water

Not all produced water is the same. A seminar held by SPE and associated with the Water Life Cycle and Strategy Technical Section looked at the different types of produced water and the different ways in which produced water is handled in various regions around the world. Produced Water Treatment and Reuse—A Global Perspective will be presented on 17 July in Houston. The objective is to demonstrate how factors that vary from one region to another, such as hydrocarbon development, produced water type, regulations, water scarcity, and water volumes, result in dramatically different strategies for disposing of or reusing produced water.


John Walsh, principal technologist at Worley, led the seminar. He has worked as a water specialist for more than 35 years. Before working for Worley, Walsh was the global water treatment subject-matter expert for Royal Dutch Shell.

Walsh presented the differences in handling produced water from one region to another in both practical terms and in terms of the fundamental science and engineering. Fundamental factors such as the chemistry of the oil and water, treatment chemistries, fluid mechanics of processing systems, particle size distributions, and different types of emulsions all factor in to how the produced water is treated. Real-world examples were presented and explained both in practical terms and in terms of the fundamentals. The seminar ended with a discussion of where the industry is likely to go in the next 5 or 10 years in terms of reducing cost and water footprint.

Listen to an archive of the seminar here.



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