Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Cost-Effective Treatment Of Produced Water Using Co-Produced Energy Sources For Small Producers
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801
Harvard Petroleum Corpany, LLC, Roswell, NM 88202
Robert L. Bayless, Producer LLC, Farmington, NM 87499
The proposal “Cost-Effective Treatment of Produced Water Using Co-Produced Energy Sources for Small Producers,” submitted by the Petroleum Research Recovery Center (PRRC) of New Mexico Tech, is for a demonstration project. The key objective of the proposed research is to test a low temperature distillation unit for produced water purification at the wellhead, yielding water clean enough for beneficial uses like drilling, stimulating, or waterflooding.
In this project, a low-temperature distillation process co-sited with the wellhead will be designed for meeting the requirements of energy efficiency and tolerance to variable water chemistry. Through the proposed process, water will evaporate at an elevated temperature (i.e., 80°C) in a flowing air stream, followed by cooling and capillary condensation resulting in the collection of highly purified clean water. The average treatment cost of produced water purification with this method is estimated to be $0.79/bbl (compared to the current cost in NM of $~2.50/bbl), through implementing the following tactics: (1) solar energy and co-produced energy sources will drive the desalination process, thereby reducing electricity consumption; (2) a specific design will be implemented to maximize internal heat transfer and latent heat recovery; and (3) the process will be fitted to deploy at the wellhead; drastic decline in the need for water storage and transportation is expected as a result of the implementation of this new design concept.
The proposed research includes two phases with research objectives targeting the development of a cost-effective produced water purification technology and its on-site demonstration for wellhead application. In Phase I, a low-temperature distillation unit with desalination capacity of 30 barrel/day will be constructed. In Phase II, produced water purification will be demonstrated at the wellhead of Fed 00#3 and Floyd #2 provided by our industry partners. Technical and economic feasibility will be evaluated.
Principal Investigators: Liangxiong Li