Oilfield water can be reused: Experts.
Saline wastewater associated with oil production is reused in the oil production process. However, the remaining water is disposed deep underground. If this water is properly treated, it can be utilised for beneficial uses such as micro algae cultivation.
Micro algae can be cultivated for a variety of purposes, e.g., medical products, cosmetics, food, fibre, feed, fertilizer and fuel. Different strains of algae grow in different conditions, e.g., salinity, temperatures, etc.
The objective is to identify valuable micro algae that can be cultivated with water in the oilfield environment.
The research project partnered between SQU and the Japan Cooperation Center, Petroleum (JCCP), is being executed by the SQU College of Engineering and Shimizu Corporation, Japan on behalf of JCCP, with the cooperation of PDO. Technical support for the micro algae work is also being provided by Euglena Co., Ltd., a Japanese company that has commercialised micro algae products, and the Marine Biotechnology Institute, Japan.
Dr. Yasmeen Al Lawati, Head of PDO Water Management Team, said that PDO is now considering utilising oilfield water as an asset, rather than as a waste, and has been looking for new ways to utilise the water that is currently disposed off.
"Considering that micro algae cultivation requires sunlight, warm temperatures, and space, in addition to water, the oilfields of Oman represent an ideal location for such cultivation. As such, micro algae cultivation is a utilisation option in which we have great interest," he said.
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