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SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Filtration Technology for Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Offshore Filtration and Separation Solutions New Technologies for Challenging Times Water and the Offshore Industry Separation and Filtration Strategies: Getting the Right Fit Filtration and the Future of Offshore Oil

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


OFFSHORE FILTRATION MADE EASIER

MAHLE products can withstand the operational challenges found in extreme offshore exploration and production environments. Our superior filtration and separation solutions for offshore applications offer precise filtration and equipment protection that meet or exceed exacting engineering requirements.

Seawater Treatment for Platform Applications Continuous automatic operation Filtration down to 25 microns Algal bloom removal Customized design

Diesel Treatment Packages for Offshore Diesel Storage Uninterupted operation Filtration down to 5 microns Critical performance conditions Customized design

Environmental Treatment Packages for Waste Water Separation of oil and solids contamination Compact technology with low weight Meets or exceeds IMO standards No chemical additives / no moving parts Compact footprint, with minimal power consumption Reliable continuous service

MAHLE Industrial Filtration (UK) Ltd. Emperor Court, Emperor Way Crewe Business Park Crewe CW1 6BD, Great Britain Phone: +44 1270 503400 industrialfiltration@gb.mahle.com www.mahle-industry.com

MAHLE Industrial Filtration USA, Inc. 428 North Elm, P.O. Box 678 Nowata, Oklahoma 74048 USA Phone: +1 (918) 273-2204 Fax: +1 (918) 273-2101 industrialfiltration@us.mahle.com www.mahle-industry.com


SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Filtration Technology for Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Offshore Filtration and Separation Solutions New Technologies for Challenging Times

NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Contents

Water and the Offshore Industry Separation and Filtration Strategies: Getting the Right Fit Filtration and the Future of Offshore Oil

Foreword 2 Tom Cropper, Editor

Offshore Filtration and Separation Solutions 3 Steve Franke, Manager and Head of Sales, MAHLE Industrial Filtration USA, Inc. Nigel Thomas, Sales Manager,

Sponsored by

MAHLE Industrial Filtration (UK) Ltd. Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Editor Tom Cropper Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies

Seawater Treatment Diesel Treatment Drain Water Treatment Conclusion

New Technologies for Challenging Times Tom Cropper, Editor

Money Worries Green Issues

Water and the Offshore Industry

8

Jo Roth, Staff Writer

Improved Oil Recovery Produced Water Overcoming Obstacles

Separation and Filtration Strategies: 10 Getting the Right Fit

James Butler, Staff Writer

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

What It Can Do Your Choice of Partner

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization with which they may be associated.

Filtration and the Future of Offshore Oil

Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

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12

Tom Cropper, Editor

Future Market Increased Filtration Needs Fuel Treatments

References 14

Š 2016. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 1


NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Foreword F

LUID SEPARATION has evolved from a

are enabling seawater to be used for secondary oil

marginal consideration for the offshore

recovery techniques; to clean waste water more

industry to one which could shape its future. The

effectively; to treat fuels and hydraulic fluids and to

increased focus on environmental performance,

manage produced water.

tighter profit margins and increased demand for

Jo Roth then looks more closely at water and the

water – coupled with diminishing supplies – means

way it is being used for the offshore market. As

this is now an issue every offshore company should

he demonstrates, demand is increasing at a time

be putting front and center.

when supply is diminishing. Improved desalination

Our opening article takes a look at the developing world of filtration as a whole. MAHLE Industrial

technologies enable sea water and produced water to be reused time and time again.

Filtration is one of the leading names in this space.

James Butler, then looks at how oil and gas

In their opening article, they focus on three issues in

companies are upping their focus on treatment, and

particular: sea water treatments, diesel fuel treatments

the benefits they can gain. He assesses some of the

and waste water management, all of which will have an

key things to consider when purchasing and installing

important say on the future profitability of the market.

a new system.

We will then spend time looking at why treatment

Finally, we look at the future, where the market is

is becoming an issue. Recent shocks to the offshore

heading and some of the latest trends which will shape

market have cast a shadow over the industry. To

tomorrow’s offshore oil and gas industry.

remain profitable, operators must find a way to work sustainably at a much lower price. Fluid treatment is playing a more important role in this. New technologies

Tom Cropper Editor

Tom Cropper has produced articles and reports on various aspects of global business over the past 15 years. He has also worked as a copywriter for some of the largest corporations in the world, including ING, KPMG and the World Wildlife Fund.

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NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Offshore Filtration and Separation Solutions Steve Franke, Manager and Head of Sales, MAHLE Industrial Filtration USA, Inc. Nigel Thomas, Sales Manager, MAHLE Industrial Filtration (UK) Ltd. Robust and reliable filtration and separation systems that can withstand the operational challenges found in the world’s extreme offshore exploration and production environments.

M

AHLE INDUSTRIAL Filtration is a global supplier of filtration products with over 50 years of experience providing filtration solutions for the Oil and Gas Industry. With a product portfolio including mechanical filtration, separation systems and components, MAHLE has built a reputation for delivering engineered solutions that are driven by performance. Long considered to be the most challenging operational environment in the Oil and Gas Industry are the Offshore Drilling and Production Operations. With such extreme environments as the North Sea and Prudhoe Bay, filter applications found in the Offshore Market can be just as challenging environmentally as they are mechanically. Three of the more difficult applications included in MAHLE’s portfolio are: a. S  ea water treatment for Platform Applications b. D  iesel Treatment Packages for Offshore diesel storage c. E  nvironmental treatment packages for waste water Each of these applications requires a bespoke design and fabrication package that can provide not only superior filtration and separation capabilities, but also can withstand the operational challenges found in the world’s diverse exploration and production environments.

of the pump intake and local environmental conditions. In order to use the sea water on the platform, these contaminants need to be minimized or eliminated. A critical component of the treatment is the primary seawater filter package. The primary sea water filter will remove solid and biological contaminants down to as small as 25 micron retention (about half the size of a grain of sand). Due to space, weight and economic considerations, this package is best represented as an automatically backwashed filter system designed to operate continuously without interruption. Due to the remote location of many of the installations, the filter package needs to be designed for long run cycles without maintenance. MAHLE’s Aquaflush Sea Water Filter excels in this harsh environment. The Aquaflush filter is a bespoke design utilizing rugged wedge wire filter media to remove solid and biological contaminants including algae. Of course, capturing the contaminants is only half of the requirement. The filter system must also be able to effectively and efficiently remove the contaminant from the filter media. MAHLE’s unique automatic backflush system creates a high energy backwash which dislodges the contaminants from the filter media and sweeps

Seawater Treatment Seawater provides a readily available utility substitute for fresh water applications offshore. When properly treated, seawater can be used for cooling water, desalination, grey water or fire suppression water applications. The seawater is brought on the platform from a submerged intake pump. Typical contaminants include sand, clay, algae and marine life. The amount of contamination will be dependent on the depth

MAHLE SEAWATER FILTER PACKAGE SKID

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NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Capturing the contaminants is only half of the requirement. The filter system must also be able to effectively and efficiently remove the contaminant from the filter media

MAHLE DIESEL FILTER BUILT TO NORSOK STANDARDS

them into the discharge line. This wedge wire design is particularly well suited to removal of algal bloom providing efficient removal and cleaning even in the peak bloom seasons with retention as tight as 25 micron. Once the sea water has been filtered, it can then be safely treated with chemicals, sent to heat exchangers or storage tanks or prepared for further treatments such as sulphate reduction.

of the unclean diesel from the storage tanks and return purified diesel to the service tanks. The filter package is capable of extracting 5 micron particulate and reducing water content in the diesel to 15 PPM. Proper treatment of the diesel fuel provides assurance of uninterrupted fuel performance for critical load and emergency powered equipment.

Diesel Treatment

To meet today’s more stringent International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards, offshore rigs and production platforms are required to treat waste water more meticulously. Any waste water resulting from deck washings, spillage, rainwater, and runoff from gutters and drains including drip pans and work areas is subject to these standards. The topsides deck is typically provided with an open-drain gravity system that collects the rainwater and wash-down water to large holding tanks on the cellar deck. This waste water is typically contaminated with oil, grease, lubricants and dirt from deck areas, equipment drip trays, accidental spills, etc. The water contamination is a highly variable mix of hydrocarbon (production oil, paraffin, lubricants) and solid particulates, which pose a particularly difficult challenge to most separation equipment packages. MAHLE’s many years of experience in the Marine and Oil and Gas markets has led to the development of a unique separation system with the capacity to treat waste water efficiently with considerable irregularity of oil and solids contamination, and still provide less than 15 ppm of oil in the waste water in order to meet required international discharge limits. MAHLE’s

Diesel is frequently used offshore as fuel for emergency power generation or to drive large pumps where electrical power from the gas turbines is unavailable or unsuitable. Most commonly, diesel is transported to the offshore platforms by supply ships and offloaded into storage tanks. While on the ship and again in the storage tanks, the diesel can be contaminated with corrosion products and condensation. If left untreated, these contaminants risk degradation of the diesel and fouling of the diesel engines and generators, and possibly at critical operational times. To safeguard against fouling, the diesel fuel can be treated continuously as part of the diesel storage system or can be treated at the point of usage. Since much of the equipment that runs on diesel is used primarily in emergency situations only, it is imperative that the diesel be free of contaminants to insure uninterrupted operation. MAHLE’s Diesel Treatment Package is designed to exacting standards to effectively and efficiently remove the harmful contaminants from the stored diesel fuel. The system is designed to have parallel particulate and coalescing functioning components, which allows uninterrupted treatment 4 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

Drain Water Treatment


NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

MAHLE SINGLE STAGE SEPARATOR USED IN THE NORTH SEA

standard system is designed with a built in oil/ water analyzer on the discharge section of the separator package. The analyzer continuously monitors the oil in the discharge water from the separator to insure that the oil content remains below the 15 ppm limitation. Should the analyzer detect oil content at or above the 15 ppm limit, the separator will redirect the outlet water flow back to the storage tank on the cellar deck until discharge oil concentration returns to acceptable values for discharge to the marine environment. MAHLE’s waste water separation package is an engineered system that requires no chemical additives or moving parts, plus has a compact footprint, with minimal power consumption, thus providing reliable continuous service with reduced operational costs and without maintenance.

Conclusion MAHLE automatic filtration systems are a vital component for all types of Offshore Drilling and Production Operations. Their bespoke design can be adapted to meet the most exacting specifications and operated in severely challenging environments. Their robust construction, continuous operation and compact footprint are highly suitable for the many offshore filtration applications encountered on fixed offshore platforms, FPSOs and semisubmersible platforms. MAHLE automatic filter systems have provided precise filtration and equipment protection in

offshore applications as well as in refineries and petrochemical facilities around the globe for decades. Superior filtration and separation capabilities combined with expert manufacturing capabilities and minimal energy requirements make the MAHLE automatic filtration system an essential component to any industrial filtration application. As a global filtration expert, MAHLE Industrial Filtration will provide bespoke solutions that meet or exceed exacting engineering demands for onshore or offshore applications where precise filtration is necessary.

Contact MAHLE Industrial Filtration (UK) Ltd. Emperor Court, Emperor Way, Crewe Business Park Crewe CW1 6BD, Great Britain Phone: +44 1270 503400 industrialfiltration@gb.mahle.com http://www.mahle.com MAHLE Industrial Filtration USA, Inc. 428 North Elm, P.O. Box 678, Nowata, Oklahoma 74048 USA Phone: +1 (918) 273-2204 Fax: +1 (918) 273-2101 industrialfiltration@us.mahle.com http://www.us.mahle.com WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 5


NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

New Technologies for Challenging Times Tom Cropper, Editor Why filtration and separation are increasingly vital to the future of the offshore oil and gas industry.

While oil demand is not growing at the expected rate, it is still growing, which means the oil industry has to find a way of increasing production

T

HE OFFSHORE oil and gas industry faces some serious challenges. On the one hand oil is becoming more expensive and difficult to extract; on the other the commercial environment has rarely been more volatile. Surviving in such an uncertain climate requires an increasingly imaginative and proactive approach on a range of issues which have hitherto been neglected. One of the most important is filtration and separation. Because it is not a core function in the recovery of hydrocarbons, filtration of fuel and water has often been overlooked. However, a variety of factors are combining to prompt drilling companies to give it their undivided attention: • Money: Oil prices currently sit at around 30% of the 2014 highs. • Extraction: The age of easy oil is coming to an end. Drilling companies increasingly rely on advanced recovery techniques which include extensive use of treated water, as well as moving into new areas. • Deep water: New oil is being found in remote and hostile environments. Treating water is logistically difficult and expensive. • The environment: Governments and public opinion place pressure on offshore companies to manage their impact on the environment. Dealing with waste fluids in a safe and environmentally friendly manner is an increasingly urgent priority. All in all, the proposition facing the industry is stark. Although oil demand may be below expectations, it continues to grow. Therefore, the industry has to increase the amount of oil it extracts, improve their environmental credentials and to do so at lower cost.

Money Worries Of all the issues facing the offshore oil and gas industry, the biggest is the fluctuating oil price. It’s fair to say 2015 did not go well for the industry. After the major price shocks of 2014, when oil plummeted from plus $100 per barrel to around 6 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

$50, the industry had hoped for a recovery or at least price stability. For a time that seemed to be happening as the price hovered around the $60 mark. Then, the Chinese economy hit the rocks, the global supply glut continued, and investors panicked. As a result, the global oil price lost a further 50% of its value. At the time of writing, Brent Crude stands at $33.24 per barrel. Ironically, this is billed as something of a recovery from lows which saw the price dip below $30. These problems prompt an obvious question: what now for the offshore industry? Much depends on how E&P companies react. As a report from Deloitte into the prospects for offshore oil in 20161 highlights, many have taken defensive measures which would seem to be market depressive such as reduction in capital expenditure and investment in offshore projects. Shell and BP were among the high profile names to announce significant reductions in their budgets for offshore oil2 – something which has sparked concern for the future in areas such as the North Sea. However, offshore oil continues to have strong prospects for the future. Many large scale projects are still taking to the seas. These will have been in the planning and construction phase for many years and, although built at a time of higher oil prices, they can still reap dividends for their producers. The breakeven point will simply have been pushed a little further down the line. Equally, while oil demand is not growing at the expected rate, it is still growing, which means the oil industry has to find a way of increasing production. To do that it needs to increase yields from existing sources and explore deeper and more hostile areas of the ocean. Both these challenges are forcing oil and gas drillers to refocus on their filtration and separation technologies, particularly when it comes to water. The offshore industry uses a huge amount of water. It is deployed in a variety of areas, such as


NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

MAHLE SEAWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM

MAHLE NORTH SEA DIESEL COALESCER PACKAGE

cooling, fire-fighting and for well injection. As the industry seeks to maximize production from aging fields, enhanced oil recovery techniques such as the injection of water to force hard to access oil to the surface are growing. Before it can be injected into the well, though, raw seawater and produced excess water needs to be treated. Likewise, desalination techniques for water used in equipment can reduce corrosion and extend the lifespan of key equipment.

Green Issues On top of this, the industry is coming under greater pressure from regulators to improve its record on the environment. Waste water presents an environmental hazard to the surrounding area. This has to be treated carefully to remove any lingering hydrocarbons from the fluid. The big problem with all these water treatment technologies is in the size and expense of

the operation. Treating water effectively traditionally has required equipment with a large footprint and high weight profile – not ideal for function in an offshore environment. The enclosed nature of an oil rig – and the growth of remote location operations, also mean units must offer prolonged maintenance free running. The drive, therefore, is to produce products which are smaller, lighter and more effective at cleansing water. Doing so improves the environmental profile of the overall operation and reduces costs by limiting maintenance requirements across the rig. There are, then, a host of opportunities for those companies developing the next generation of treatment technologies. The need is there in terms of a growing offshore industry, commercial pressures and the drive for the industry to clean up its act. The opportunity is also there, in terms of a customer class increasingly awareness of water and fuel usage. Last but not least the technology is there, with a new generation of products which can balance the conflicting demands of the industry. The challenge for developers is to demonstrate the value of their innovations. They need to prove that they out-perform existing methods as well as demonstrating a clear point of difference over and above any offering from the competition. Buyers, meanwhile, need to be more aware of their treatment strategies and to wake up to the clear business benefits they may gain.

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NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Water and the Offshore Industry Jo Roth, Staff Writer Water is beginning to play an increasingly important role in the future of offshore oil and gas.

Water treatment facilities take up space and add weight to the platform, pushing up the overall operational costs. The next generation of water treatment technologies, therefore, needs to do the same job more effectively and affordably using a smaller amount of space

A

S THE offshore oil and gas market copes with the challenges ahead, one thing is becoming crystal clear. Water, and the way the industry manages it, is becoming an increasingly important priority. Demand for water is growing, as are the difficulties in using it offshore. A remote environment presents challenges in the transportation and storage of water; sourcing from the surrounding environment requires high quality desalination and filtration techniques; and finally, environmental concerns raise the issue of how discharged water is treated. If the industry is waking up to the value of water, it is part of a learning process. For years it had been seen as a peripheral issue – an operational rather than strategic issue. Because it is not perceived to directly contribute to production or revenue, water can be seen as being of secondary importance. The days of easy oil in which prices hovered above $100 per barrel meant that was possible. Now, though, that is beginning to change. Profit margins are shrinking, demand for water is growing while reserves are in decline. Governments are placing a greater emphasis on how oil drilling companies manage their impact on the environment. As a result, water is becoming increasingly important to the future of the offshore energy industry.

Improved Oil Recovery The days of easy oil are over. Many existing oil fields are reaching the end of their originally designated service life. With capital expenditures on exploration and deep water production coming under pressure, companies need to make the best of those reserves they have. As a result, we’re seeing increased use of secondary and tertiary recovery techniques, the most common of which is water flooding. Injecting water into the well forces hard to reach oil to the surface and significantly increases its production capacity. 8 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

Companies habitually source this water from the environment around them. However, sea water is far from ideal. Salts and other impurities can react with brine in the original formation to create corrosive scale. As such, water needs to be desalinated before being injected into the well. BP’s Valhall oil field, for example, has its own water injection platform3. Installed in 2003 it first injected water in 2004, and includes its own facilities for treating seawater. It has helped extend the aging oil field’s life expectancy by several decades. The industry has also been moving towards low salinity water injection, which includes injecting water which still has a small salt content. Studies in the 90s suggested this technique changed the wettability properties of the reservoir and could result in increased oil recoverability. However, space constraints and cost issues mean many companies have shied away from the capital expenditure of including such facilities. Retrofitting treatment facilities on existing platforms may not be practical, which means the search is on for more mobile and effective solutions.

Produced Water As oil fields age, they begin to produce increasing amounts of water together with oil. This is not only a headache in that it reduces production, but it also needs to be disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. The water has to be treated before it can be discharged back into the ocean, while oil will also need to be treated before it is either disposed of or moved on into the pipeline. The trouble is that, even after treatment, enough oil has historically made its way into the environment to present a hazard. A report in 2013 found that, in 2012, 1,535 tons of oil was discharged in produced water in 20124. Reducing the impact of produced water represents a growing industry concern.


NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

MAHLE OIL REMOVAL SEPARATORS FOR NORTH SEA PLATFORM

Part of the solution lies in detecting contaminants within produced water. Technology which can identify the presence of oil in waste water before returning it to be further filtered can play an important part in reducing the amount of oil which companies unwittingly release into the water. More advanced filtration systems also dramatically improve the efficiency of oil removal from water. Not only can this increase the amount of usable oil produced, but it can also ensure only clean, safe water is released into the environment.

Overcoming Obstacles A major concern involves the size and scale of the units themselves. Water treatment facilities take up space and add weight to the platform, pushing up the overall operational costs. The next generation of water treatment technologies, therefore, needs to do the same job more effectively and affordably using a smaller amount of space. As a part of this drive, some companies are transforming oil and gas tankers into mobile water treatment facilities. The system makes use of a range of filtration technologies to manage water treatment needs without taking up valuable space on board a rig. If the waste water is to be reused it can also pass water through an additional set of processes until it meets the required standards5.

Others are looking at smaller, lighter, but tougher installations which can work effectively on board a rig. An example of the units entering the market is MAHLE Industrial Filtration’s automatic backflushing seawater filter. Within a tough compact stainless steel unit, it has multiple levels of filtration enabling water to be recycled for uses such as cooling, fire water, water injection and waste water treatment. The casing is made from stainless steel making it resistant to the elements and the automatic back-flushing mechanism removes particle deposits and extends its wear time. It’s a good example of the tough, all-round devices the industry needs – something which is smaller and lighter than traditional products, has good all round performance and can cope with the worst that the elements can throw at it. Water, therefore, is becoming more important for a number of reasons. The rise of water injection means it’s now becoming a source of increased profits. Meanwhile, the rise of deep water exploration makes transportation of water an expensive and logistically challenging proposition. Environmental concerns mean oil companies have to be more careful about contaminants contained in any waste water, while tighter budgets mean every penny must be counted. By increasing the efficiency in which contaminants are removed, it is possible to extend the lifespan of crucial equipment and greatly reduce the running costs of the operation.

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NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Separation and Filtration Strategies: Getting the Right Fit James Butler, Staff Writer What buyers need to know before making a firm decision about their separation and filtration choices.

There is a lag between the capabilities of the technology and the understanding of water treatment. This is why it can be helpful to organize training courses in water treatment

T

HE OFFSHORE oil and gas market is entering a new and more demanding phase. In this new era, water and fluid separation technologies will take center stage. Oil companies need to manage waste water more effectively, treat diesel and hydraulic fluids, and get more use out of water. However, updating to new technologies or systems inherently includes both cost and risk. Cost comes from the expense of purchasing and installing the system, while risk comes in selecting the right one. Before making a decision, therefore, buyers need to know what they are looking for and what factors should influence the decision making process.

What It Can Do The outlook for developers of fluid separation products is promising. Even so the market has a number of obstacles to overcome. The most pressing is awareness among their potential customers about the business costs of poor water treatment and also the benefits they can gain. However, these are not always straightforward to link. Impurities such as sulphates in water can lead to corrosion and equipment failure, which naturally pushes up overall operational costs. More effective filtration systems, which produce cleaner water, will deliver cost savings right the way down the line. Equipment will run more efficiently, it will breakdown less and last longer. In an environment in which every penny counts, this can provide companies with a critical edge in the market. For developers, much of the challenge lies in demonstrating the benefits. These can be summarized as follows and are explored in more detail elsewhere in this report: - Cost: Extending the life cycle of equipment, minimizing down time and maintenance, 10 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

thereby crunching down on the overall running costs of a facility. - Revenue: Secondary and tertiary oil recovery techniques can extend the productive life of an oil field for decades. The injection of seawater is one of the most common ways of extracting more oil. However, sulphates within the water lead to the build-up of scale which can slow the process and damage equipment. Filtration technologies have evolved substantially to avoid this problem. - Environmental impact: Every year, high levels of oil are discharged into the ocean in waste water. Reducing and eliminating this figure is crucial to the industry’s reputation. It is now increasingly possible and affordable to safely remove hydrocarbons and other contaminants. This will require a certain level of education – both among those in charge of overall management and direction, and also among those who will be working with the systems every day. There is a lag between the capabilities of the technology and the understanding of water treatment. This is why it can be helpful to organize training courses in water treatment. This will help educate workers on issues such as equipment maintenance, available technology, latest practices and so on. Many suppliers offer these courses, either in remote locations or in some cases on board a rig itself. It’s in their interests to do so. The more their customers know about a system, the more likely it is that they will be able to get the best out of it – and the more satisfied they will be. As a brief guide, the key factors developers should be focusing on are: - Wear: Offshore drilling is taking place further from the shore than ever before. This makes the transportation of water supplies increasingly impractical. Any unit will have


NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

MAHLE OFFSHORE FILTRATION SKID-3D MODEL

to perform for a long time with minimal maintenance or replacement in a harsh isolated position. This means they have to be tough and durable to withstand not only the rigors of existing offshore facilities but some of the extreme environments ultra-deep water can throw at them. - Footprint: Space is at a premium. Any savings in footprint or weight contribute to bottom line savings. Remote water treatment has traditionally been highly expensive requiring huge amounts of equipment. The latest products, though, are more mobile and efficient than ever before. As a result, when choosing between systems, buyers will need to balance issues such as purchase and installation cost as well as estimated running costs. - Performance: As this technology progresses, products become increasingly adept at removing impurities from the water flow. Ultrafiltration technologies can remove tiny particles up to the level of viruses delivering what is, to all intents and purposes, clean fresh water even from salty seawater.

Your Choice of Partner Aside from looking at the product on offer, much depends on the actual supplier. It is possible

to glean a significant amount from their track record and history. Those which have plenty of experience and have provided products for the offshore environment will be at a significant advantage over those with a more generalized focus. As we’ve already explored in this article, the environment on board an oil rig is uniquely challenging. To deliver sustained and prolonged use requires products which are specifically designed for life offshore. Equally, those companies which provide more after sales service will offer a little more value. Ongoing support and crew training can all play a role in getting the best out of any new products and systems a rig installs. The market is growing, which means it’s competitive. There are many different suppliers and developers offering a variety of technologies. The challenge on the buyer-side is to differentiate between the available offerings. For producers, though, the intense competition provides a challenge in securing business. The race is on to be seen as a cutting edge provider in this fast developing world. The good news is that competition and demand spur on innovation. Fluid treatment is becoming a growing problem for offshore drilling companies and, in response, the technology is evolving at a rapid pace to help companies achieve their key goals.

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NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Filtration and the Future of Offshore Oil Tom Cropper, Editor Improving performance while reducing costs – the big challenge facing the offshore oil and gas industry.

The industry is demanding higher levels of filtration than many existing mechanical filtration products have been able to deliver in the past

I

T’S THE end of January and in Houston, Texas, engineering professionals from the offshore industry have gathered for the annual Produced Water Conference. This Year’s Theme said everything about the environment they face: “Strategies for water treatment in a low dollar environment.’6 It pays testament to the challenge facing them. Managing produced water – as well as other fluids – is a growing priority, but the low oil price means doing so, while remaining financially sustainable, has never been more difficult. The solution will lie in a combination of factors including new practices and the successful integration of innovative technologies and solutions.

Future Market So where is that price going? If the last two years have demonstrated anything, it’s the difficulty of accurately predicting the future direction of prices. As things stand, there are two schools of thought. On the one hand some have pointed to comments coming out of OPEC predicting a rebalancing of the market in 20167 as some producers struggle in low conditions. This is enough to imply a change of strategy from OPEC and a cut back of supply. Others see supply continuing to outstrip demand for the next few years. The return of Iran to the market and continued struggles in the world economy make it difficult to foresee a strong bounce in the market – at least in the near term. These predictions are crucial, because they shape what kind of products oil and gas drilling companies will be looking for. What, for example, is the future of deep water exploration? How important will be factors such as cost, space, weight or clean running? All these will determine where innovation goes from here. For now, though, we can point to the following trends.

Increased Filtration Needs The industry is demanding higher levels of filtration than many existing mechanical filtration products 12 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

have been able to deliver in the past. Technology is responding. Increasingly, new technologies such as ultra-filtration and microfiltration are coming to the fore, which provide superior results over many traditional methods. For example, conventional methods such as using coarse filtration followed by multimedia filters are prone to the build-up of bacteria, which can lead to a decrease in performance, mechanical failures and chemical complications. The equipment is also large, heavy and expensive to install. Cartridges need to be regularly cleaned out and replaced while finding products capable of functioning in the extremely hazardous environments of an offshore oil rig is challenging. Existing technologies were far from perfect, which is where ultra-filtration and micro filtration have come to the fore. These are dead end filtration units in which feed-water passes through the membranes. Tiny pores filter out all contaminants larger than about 0.02 microns. The system can be backwashed periodically removing particles from the membrane filters and maintaining healthy performance for longer. Also, these systems are resistant to hypochlorite, which means they can be deep cleaned from time to time. The overall result is a system which can provide cleaner water, from a smaller installation with lower running costs. Systems such as these have been used for onshore sites since 2007, but it is only in recent years that offshore manufacturers have truly embraced the concept. Total was one of the first developers to move into offshore ultrafiltration with a pilot test at its Girassol8 platform off the coast of Angola. Eventually, this led to a full installation on board the Pazflor floating production, storage and offloading vessel. From 2010, Shell were also trialing a mixture of technologies on board their Shearwater platform. They tested out both chemical and micro filtration systems for what they called ‘final polishing9’.


NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

MAHLE OFFSHORE SEAWATER FILTER SKID NORTH SEA

After assessment of what they described as a successful trial, it was put into full production. The technology is still developing and the industry appears to be learning how to incorporate it effectively. Early case studies show that it can deliver significant improvements, but they also demonstrate the challenges of implementation. However, as the industry becomes more comfortable, the technology is proving its worth as part of an overall filtration strategy.

Fuel Treatments As the offshore oil industry moves – or tries to – into a cleaner and more efficient future, it is attempting to cut down on the use of fuels such as diesel. The rise of renewable energies and gas capture technologies which enable generators to be powered by what would have been flare gas go some way towards accomplishing this. Others are pioneering ways to receive power from the shore or innovative ocean power grids to minimize the amount of fuels they carry and burn. The incentive is clear; diesel is not clean burning, it is expensive to transport and the more chemicals and fluids exist on board a rig the greater the risk of environmental contamination. Reducing diesel

risk will be seen as both an environmental and commercial imperative. Even so, diesel remains an important fuel. It is used for powering heavy duty machinery and emergency generators. It needs to be there and it needs to be managed correctly. While diesel is transported in vessels it runs the risk of becoming contaminated or soiling. Because it is most likely to be used in an emergency situation, it is critical that an oil rig’s diesel fuel stores are kept in prime condition. The latest fuel treatment technologies can safely and quickly remove contaminants and water from the fuel flow. This increases fuel efficiency, delivers improved power output, and reduces the risks of breakdown. Across the board the offshore industry is waking up to the challenge presented by fluid filtration and separation. We’ve seen how it has gone from being an operational process to one increasingly interlinked with commercial performance. It exists within a highly challenging environment – one in which the capital available for investment is coming under increased scrutiny. However, the need to operate in a low dollar environment means innovative technologies are becoming vital to the future health of the offshore market. WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 13


NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

References: 1

Deloitte 2016 Outlook on Oil and Gas: http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/2015/12/deloitte-2016-outlook-on-the-oil-and-gas-industry.html

2

Shell cuts Jobs in North Sea:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/11496273/Shell-cuts-jobs-in-North-Sea-as-low-oil-price-hits-Aberdeen.html 3

BP gets Greenlight: http://www.offshoreenergytoday.com/bp-gets-green-light-for-gas-lift-at-valhall-ip/

4

Environmental Impact of Produced Water: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141113613001621

5

Offshore Water Treatment, the Future?

http://www.waterworld.com/articles/wwi/print/volume-29/issue-2/regional-spotlight/europe/offshore-water-treatment-the-future.html 6

Produced Water Society Annual Conference: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/01/prweb13153454.htm

7

OPEC Predicts Rebalancing of Supply: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-opec-oil-idUKKCN0UW1KN

8

Micro and Ultra-Filtration Technologies: http://www.spe.org/ogf/print/subscribers/2013/04/06_WaterTreatInsights.pdf

9

Shell Environmental Statement:

http://www.shell.co.uk/content/dam/shell-new/local/country/gbr/downloads/upstream/uk-environmentalstatement2010.pdf

14 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM


OFFSHORE FILTRATION MADE EASIER

MAHLE products can withstand the operational challenges found in extreme offshore exploration and production environments. Our superior filtration and separation solutions for offshore applications offer precise filtration and equipment protection that meet or exceed exacting engineering requirements.

Seawater Treatment for Platform Applications Continuous automatic operation Filtration down to 25 microns Algal bloom removal Customized design

Diesel Treatment Packages for Offshore Diesel Storage Uninterupted operation Filtration down to 5 microns Critical performance conditions Customized design

Environmental Treatment Packages for Waste Water Separation of oil and solids contamination Compact technology with low weight Meets or exceeds IMO standards No chemical additives / no moving parts Compact footprint, with minimal power consumption Reliable continuous service

MAHLE Industrial Filtration (UK) Ltd. Emperor Court, Emperor Way Crewe Business Park Crewe CW1 6BD, Great Britain Phone: +44 1270 503400 industrialfiltration@gb.mahle.com www.mahle-industry.com

MAHLE Industrial Filtration USA, Inc. 428 North Elm, P.O. Box 678 Nowata, Oklahoma 74048 USA Phone: +1 (918) 273-2204 Fax: +1 (918) 273-2101 industrialfiltration@us.mahle.com www.mahle-industry.com


NEXT GENERATION FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Notes:

16 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM


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