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Demonstration of a Decision Support System for a Novel Integrated Solution aimed at Water Reuse in the Oil & Gas Industry

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - INTEGROIL (Demonstration of a Decision Support System for a Novel Integrated Solution aimed at Water Reuse in the Oil & Gas Industry)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-05-31

The Oil&Gas is one of the eight most water-intensive industries due to the high volumes of water that are involved in oil extraction (the so-called Produced Water –PW-), and the subsequent amount of wastewater that is generated during refining activities (the so-called refinery wastewater –RW-).
Both PW and RW are extremely complex to be treated, either for the number of contaminants present as for the high variability on the features of the extraction site and the technique used, which prevents them from being reused. On the other hand, water scarcity and stricter environmentally regulations are pushing this industry to adopt innovative technologies that allow them to make a more efficient use of water and even reuse it (i.e. for irrigation purposes) and recycling it (i.e. in refinery downstream scenarios as fire water, cooling makeup water and demineralized water). The lack of specific water knowledge in the O&G sector required the proposed technologies, besides being flexible and robust to deal with the high variability and complexity of the O&G waters, to be easily operated.
IINTEGROIL’s has developed and demonstrated a robust but flexible integrated solution for the treatment of water flows generated in water-intensive industries with the final goal of making possible its reuse for several applications. Due to the complexity of the water generated by the O&G industry, this sector was chosen to demonstrate the suitability of the technology but INTEGROIL solution can also be applicable to other industrial sectors.
INTEGROIL technology is a plug&play integrated solution that comprises five different individual technologies such as dissolved air flotation, polymer and ceramic membrane filtering, advanced oxidation and the addition of low-impact chemical products and formulations. These technologies are operated in a smart way thanks to a decision support system based on machine learning algorithms. This tool is able to operate and activate the different processes depending on the water to be treated, the desired quality of water for a particular reuse application (fit-per-purpose water), and process efficiency criteria (energy and chemicals optimization).
A fully automatized 1.5 m3/h pilot plant composed by the above-mentioned processes has been designed, constructed and operated for more than 12 month in real O&G scenarios.
In short, INTEGROIL platform is conceived as an adaptive (able to treat wastewaters from different industries in order to generate water of predefined quality to be reused), flexible (able to hand variable wastewaters and complying with regulation) and easy to use (environmental expertise is integrated within DSS, so users do not need to be experts) tool.
In the first stage of the project a detailed input water characterization was carried out to identify the main features and average values needed to produce water suitable for technology adaptation to the O&G sector. Three potential applications for reusing the water treated in each of the two O&G scenarios (six potential applications in total) were defined and four key alternative markets where the INTEGROIL technology could be commercialized with minor modifications were identified (iron and steel, petrochemical, mining and pharmaceutical). A preliminary assessment of the suitability of the solution was made by experts of these markets.
With the results of this stage, the common technical specifications for the INTEGROIL prototypes were agreed among all the technology developers and validated by end-users. Then, each individual technology that is part of the global solution was adapted for the treatment of wastewaters generated in the O&G sector. The task ended with the INTEGROIL solution scheme for both scenarios. The pilot plant was designed, built and it is operative from November 2017 to May 2019.
The solution includes an integrated automatic control system that operates the pilot plants according to the best configuration algorithm. It is based on mathematical and simulation models of the different processes and on expertise collected from all the partners about each technology. This algorithm selects the optimal configuration that minimizes the costs and assures the output water required quality. At the last stage of the project, machine learning algorithms were implemented in order to optimize each process in a predictive way. Apart from the Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) running at the plant's premises, an advanced visualization platform was designed and deployed as a SaaS.
The INTEGROIL integrated solution was demonstrated in a scenario representative of crude extraction conditions, and afterwards, in a refinery, the so-called downstream scenario.
Demonstration in downstream scenario was carried out with real refinery wastewater and lasted for eight months, using the whole INTEGROIL solution (DSS, visualization platform and process technologies), which allowed validating the technology in real industrial environment.
All communication and dissemination activities were carried out according the project dissemination guidelines and the communication plan, and aligned with exploitation activities.
Commercialization activities were supported by a detailed LCA and LCC analysis performed for each application scenario and for each type of reuse. Results obtained indicated that INTEGROIL is cost competitive and provides environmental advantages for the reuse scenarios considered in the project.
The detailed analysis on the state of the art revealed that there is no integrated solution that is easy to operate and maintain that addresses at the same time the challenges associated with O&G and the need of producing high quality water amenable for reuse. Furthermore, the application of a DSS has not been addressed.
The relevance of the DSS, together with advanced visualisation tools, are a key point that were also highlighted by the different experts consulted. Both tools make the operation and understanding of the system easy and make possible to overcome the key barrier to implement the proposed technology.
The project contributes to achieve the potential impacts listed in the Work Programme and some other environmental and social impacts.
The potential impacts addressed are the following:
• INTEGROIL represents a wide and fast deployment of sustainable innovative solutions in the water management sections. The integrated solution has been developed according to the necessities of end-users, involved in the project both as partners and members of the Advisory Board.
• The project contributes to implementing the EIP Water strategy being aligned with several vertical and cross-cutting priorities.
• INTEGROIL is fully aligned with SPIRE vision and objectives on industrial water reuse helping process industries and consumers to socially accept water as a highly valuable resource.
• The project has demonstrated long-term application and sustained use of their innovative solutions by end-users.
• The project has created new market opportunities inside and outside Europe. Some market opportunities within the O&G market are in Europe but large markets are in the Americas and Asia.
• Producing water by means of the INTEGROIL technology that met the quality criteria of the reuse scenario contributes to benefits alleviate the pressure on water resources and reducing the dependence to fresh water sources and wider utilization of reused water
INTEGROIL Treatment Platform and DSS