Petrobras approves GE sulphate-stripping nanofiltration
19 September 2015, News release from Desalination & Water Reuse
Brazil's state-owned oil and gas company, Petrobras, has approved a new seawater sulphate removal (SWSR) nanofiltration membrane from giant US conglomerate, GE, for use in water injection, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications.
Petrobras' approval is, according to GE, particularly valuable not only to the US firm but also to the
oil and gas industry because upstream companies view Petrobras as the leader in EOR and sulphate
reducing unit (SRU) technologies.
GE said its SWSR membrane removed sulphate to reduce greatly scale and corrosion in the injection well which reduce oil recovery and plug the well. GE said its membrane had "exceptional fouling resistance due to its three-layer membrane design and smooth surface."
GE claimed its membrane showed sulphate removal levels topping 99.8% - outstripping Petrobras' 95% sulphate removal threshold. Petrobras verified the technical quality and high performance of GE's SWSR membrane during a five-month pilot of assisted operation with 8-inch, 440 square feet, elements where it reached Petrobras' standard for this qualification.
GE said the launch of it SWSR membrane made it the "only company to offer chemicals and membranes for the Brazilian and global SRU markets, providing operators with a single source of contact for chemicals, membranes and services."
General manager with GE Power & Water, Yuvbir Singh, said the Petrobras endorsement came as the oil and gas sector was looking for "more effective technologies that can help protect production equipment as companies venture into deeper, more challenging production conditions."
The new SWSR membranes are an upgrade of GE's DK series nanofiltration membrane to minimize operating pressures with higher transmission of sodium chloride into the permeate water. Also, GE claimed, it is a physical barrier to suspended particles including bacteria, pyrogens and colloids.
It can be retrofitted into existing systems or used in new systems GE said. The membrane can be used in conjunction with GE's existing reverse osmosis membranes to provide water for low salinity flooding, polymer flooding and other EOR methods.