RO, IX and ceramic membranes in Veolia oilfield reuse contract

A 45,000 bpd (7,154 m³/d) produced-water reclamation facility is to be installed at the Arroya Grande oilfield in California by Veolia Water through a design-build-operate contract.

Under a 12-year performance agreement with Plains Exploration & Production Company, Veolia will provide operations and maintenance services and performance guarantees on a fixed-fee basis to ensure design performance and high-quality recycled water.

The treatment system will incorporate Veolia’s OPUS II technology which utilises the company’s CeraMem® ceramic membranes as pretreatment prior to ion exchange and reverse osmosis. Prior to the agreement, the process was demonstrated on site in a pilot-scale study for a period of four months.

The treated water will provide 25,000 bpd (3,975 m³/d) for use as once- through steam generation make-up and 20,000 bpd (3,180 m³/d) for surface water discharge, dewatering the Arroyo Grande reservoir. The treatment process produces treated water that meets or exceeds state and federal permit requirements, and the dewatering of the reservoir will result in reduction of formation pressure enabling increased crude oil production at the site.

“This project uses world-class technology that treats produced water to generate high-quality water. As a result, our partnership is creating societal and environmental benefits that we can all be proud of,” said Kirk Schwab, general manager of the Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies business unit in Pittsburgh, where the technology was developed. “This approach demonstrates a shared commitment to responsible development of resources.”