Oilfield
AWE Solutions
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Over 21 Billion barrels of produced water is generated by the O&G industry in the U.S. every year. 55% was re-injected for enhanced recovery and 39% was injected into Class II disposal wells. 6% is managed through reuse, surface discharge or disposed at publicly owned treatment works. The Company has numerous applications in the oil industry including:

  • Salt Water Disposal (SWD)
    • Increases recovery of oil from produced water before re-injection
    • Lowers injection pressure
    • Lowers chemical costs
  • Increases oil recovery from water–flood fields
  • Eliminates paraffin, asphaltenes, scale and skin-damage
  • Tank Bottom Sludge Remediation – Turns sludge into high quality oil
  • Cleaning Drill Cuttings
  • Frac & Produced Water

Truck traffic for a single frac job is between 300 to 1,300 truckloads. Trucking of fresh water to well sites, and the disposal of produced water to disposal wells impacts air emissions and damages the roads used by these trucks, which in turn has caused local governments to demand payment for road repairs. Recycling these process waters would minimize the truck traffic.

We provide options for saltwater disposal companies with high volume offloading and disposal capacity, produced water gathering systems. We offer "green" solutions such as recycling and utilize proprietary Company owned technology to lower operating expenses and increase profits. We offer our technology to E & P and service companies that need control or eliminate paraffin problems, enhance oil recovery from high water cuts, enhance water floods and we are developing a mobile system to clean produced or frac water and drill cuttings at on site at drilling locations.

Oil Field Applications

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Lowering Operating Expenses for Salt Water Disposal Operators: The Ionizer technology allows operators to capture more oil and upgrade the quality of their oil, so they can get paid a higher price per barrel. This is accomplished by running the water and oil through the Ionizer prior to oil/water separators. The Ionizer knocks water out of the oil and oil separates better from the water. Most operators treat water prior to injection with various chemicals so the well doesn't scale up causing higher injection pressures. The Ionizer allows operators to use less chemicals as we knock out various metals such as iron, and calcium, barium and bacteria, that cause scale, thereby lowering chemical expenses. Furthermore, ionized water both lowers injection pressure by 25-40% (saving on electricity to run the injection pumps) and also eliminates the need to periodically acidize the disposal wells (saving on field maintenance).

Enhanced Oil Recovery from High Water-Cut Properties: In many areas, especially in older, water-drive fields, very large volumes of water are produced along with the oil. For example, on some properties in south Texas as much as 20,000 barrels of fluid per day are pumped out in order to skim 200 barrels of oil. (This would be 1% oil cut.) Laboratory tests have shown that not all the oil separates out from produced water. In fact produced water, which is typically re-injected, may contain as much as 1% oil. Tests have shown that, when produced water is run through an Ionizer prior to going to the water tank, all the oil is separated from the water. In the case above, this could mean a doubling of the daily production with no other cost than the installation of an Ionizer on the production facility. Furthermore, the ionized water both lowers injection pressure by 25-40% (saving on electricity to run the injection pumps) and also eliminates the need to periodically acidize the injection wells (saving on field maintenance).

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Enhancing Water Floods: The Ionizer technology greatly enhances production in water flood oil fields. Prior to being injected, the water is run through an Ionizer. Once in the formation, the ionized water not only breaks down the hydrocarbon chains (where it increases formation pressure from the released gas), but it also frees much of the un-produced oil (which had been bound to formation particles). In a typical sandstone formation, this could be as much as 40% of the oil in place. As mentioned above, the ionized water also lowers the injection pressure and eliminates the need for acid jobs.

Eliminating Paraffin and Scale Problems: In many oil fields of the world, the presence of paraffin and scale in the oil dramatically decreases the production and profitability of wells. As pointed out by the U.S. Department of Energy, "thousands of oil wells have been abandoned prematurely leaving in some instances up to 90-percent of the oil" in the formation because paraffin problems reduced well production below economically feasible levels. Unless removed, according to Halliburton oil field services, "paraffin gradually builds up in a well bore restricting the flow of oil until it is shut off altogether." Paraffin consists of extremely long hydrocarbon chains, which tend to collect around the perforations of the casing, limiting the flow into the well bore as well as coating the downhole equipment and reducing its efficiency. Many oil wells have to be hot-oil treated regularly in order to remove paraffin buildup. Not only are such treatments costly but also, they are only temporary, so production soon starts declining again. A downhole Ionizer has been designed which can be run on the end of tubing which effectively eliminates paraffin buildup in the well. This is a one-time installation and requires no further well treatment. This in turn allows the well to produce at its maximum without paraffin impediment. The downhole Ionizer has been tested on oil wells in Texas, which had severe production problems due to paraffin. The result was a total elimination of the paraffin buildups, which previously had required hot oil treatments on the wells every 45 days. The Company is has redesigned the downhole tool to upgrade the original version and make it more cost effective and has filed for a new patent.

Coagulating Ionizer to treat Frac Water: A laboratory scale Coagulating Ionizer has been developed to treat water containing high quantities of suspended and dissolved solids, especially metals. The design criteria is to emulate the effect of electro-coagulation (a proven, expensive metal scavenging technology) without requiring sacrificial plates. This was accomplished successfully using a six-volt lantern battery as its power source. Tests of this unit with water from the Eagle Ford Shale demonstrated significant drops in chlorides, suspended solids and dissolved solids. A 500 gallon-per-minute, commercial unit is next to be developed to treat frac water.