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Aquionics Helps Oilfield Drilling Process Go Green

Bacteria control has recently become an important topic for discussion in the oil and gas industry. Inadequate biocidal treatments can have negative consequences ranging from souring the reservoir with hydrogen sulfide gas, to microbial induced corrosion or the loss of fluid stability during stimulation. And with stricter regulations on stimulation fluid additives, there has been an increasing effort to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals such as biocides that are present in these fluids. This challenge has been complicated by water use restrictions, placing the oil and gas industry under increased pressure to move away from using fresh water. Instead, oil producers have turned to non-pristine water sources, such as produced or flowback waters, which can often have high levels of bacterial contamination.

The Aquionics UV system for removal of SRBs during oilfield drilling

The Aquionics UV system for removal of SRBs during oilfield drilling.

The use of ultraviolet (UV) light for disinfection is well established throughout various industries and Aquionics has been at the forefront of its implementation for the past several decades. Partnering with a major Oil and Gas servicing company, Aquionics helped prove this technology successfully in pilot trials that have been operating since early 2009. Using an enhanced version of their standard product, field experience has proven the robustness of the equipment in various extreme conditions

A plethora of data is available on bacteria species that are human pathogens and on the effectiveness of UV disinfection for these particular species. But in the oilfield, sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are the target of interest. Unfortunately, there is little published on the effectiveness of UV disinfection on SRBs.

Drilling Rig

Aquionics; UV systems help oilfield drilling go green

Through its development partnership, Aquionics has employed advanced laboratory testing to validate the effectiveness of UV disinfection against specific SRB species that are commonly found in fluids used in the oil and gas industry. These studies verified that UV disinfection can be an effective method for treating the target SRB species, and revealed some other interesting results.

Oliver Lawal, Aquionics V.P. of Technology will present a paper at this year’s Singapore International Water Week www.siww.com.sg. The paper outlines some of the techniques used in the laboratory and field testing, while detailing the operational considerations unique to this application.