To face the growing demand for energy, the world is increasingly relying on deepwater drilling as a means of oil and gas production. During deepwater drilling, seawater is injected to maintain pressure in the reservoir of an oil field. This often results into reservoir souring, which means the development of significant amounts of highly poisonous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the fluid to extract.
Reservoir souring is triggered by sulfate-reducing bacteria that reside in the oil reservoir or that are brought into it by the injected seawater. These sulfate-reducing bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide by metabolizing sulfate, which is a major component of seawater. The development of H2S in an oil reservoir poses a safety hazard to the people working on offshore platforms. Therefore, regulations state that H2S levels of transported gas should not exceed a few ppm. To remove H2S before the transportation of sour gas, special equipment has to be installed on offshore platforms. Besides that, the hydrogen sulfide also causes corrosion of mild steel equipment that is used during oil and gas production.
To control reservoir souring, nanofiltration technology is often used to treat the injected seawater. However, the residual sulfate concentration in the seawater after filtration is usually enough to fuel the sulfate-reducing bacteria. An alternative solution is to dose calcium nitrate to stimulate nitrate-reducing bacteria (NRB) to metabolize all available carbon in the oil well, thus outcompeting sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). However, the results of this technique are often unpredictable. Furthermore, calcium nitrate is known to increase scaling of the equipment.
BiAqua PRT™ approaches the souring problem in offshore oil reservoirs from a completely different angle. Our phosphate adsorbent materials are a cost-effective method to pretreat seawater before it is injected into the oil reservoir. With BiAqua PRT™ as pretreatment, phosphate levels in the injection water are reduced to < 1 ppb. Without this vital nutrient, the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria is severely inhibited, thus limiting the production of hydrogen sulfide.
Contact us for more information about BiAqua PRT™ with regards to your specific needs.
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