Water Injection Treatment: Asset Protection of Treatment Facilities and Pipelines
Water injection as a means of pressure maintenance and secondary recovery has been an important part of the Oil & Gas Industry for nearly 150 years. Whilst water injection became increasingly important during the early to mid-twentieth century, the appreciation and monitoring of injected water quality and integrity of treatment equipment and transfer pipelines has typically lagged behind other considerations within the sphere of oil producers.
Water injection plants and pipelines are typically overlooked on a routine basis, with resources, both financial and man-power, being preferentially diverted to production facilities, as these are the money-making assets of the oil industry. It is only relatively recently that operators have started to appreciate that injected water quality, over the life of an oilfield, has a direct impact on asset integrity which is an important consideration and should not be understated.
It has been shown that obtaining accurate, representative and meaningful data in a timely manner is of paramount importance to the water injection plant operator. This is to ensure that water being injected meets the requisite specification envelope and also to ensure that the plant is being operated in a concise and controlled way, within operational parameters. Furthermore, asset protection against corrosion, integrated reservoir management and optimisation of treatment chemical utilisation are key areas that should be considered as there is the potential to save the plant operator OPEX costs in both the short and longer term.
The ability of the plant operator to obtain the required accurate and precise water quality data, both quickly and in real time, to quality assay the data, understand the data and implement the required mitigation plans before corrosion problems occur is the challenge for the oil industry.
The techniques involved in obtaining high quality injection water data, its interpretation and implications for asset protection against internal corrosion in both process equipment and water transfer pipelines will be discussed in this paper.