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Water management

An eco-efficient approach to this resource is essential in order to limit the amount of water resources used and to reduce the water footprint of industry.

Industry uses water in numerous ways. The production of oil and gas, in particular, relies heavily on the injection of water in liquid or vapor form. On the other hand, producing oil requires to produce a significant amount of water. An eco-efficient approach for the water resource is therefore essential in order to optimize the whole water cycle, to give value to the water produced and to reduce the overall water footprint of oil industry.

IFPEN conducted a strategic analysis resulting in a roadmap for the years to come. Today, its research focuses on water cycle management in the context of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Its research aims at studying the effective use of produced water within an EOR program. This requires to look at the compatibility of chemical EOR with multiphasic separation systems, to develop optimized solutions to facilitate the treatment of produced water and to define the conditions for reinjection of produced water into reservoirs within an EOR program.


A fluid separation testing platform

Initially seen as a byproduct of oil activities, water has become a resource that needs to be protected. The recycling of produced water is one of the research themes focused on at IFPEN. This involves the separation of fluids and the treatment and reinjection of water.

The GOwSP* fluid separation testing platform, jointly developed by IFPEN and Total, is a key component in understanding this step. Located at the IFPEN-Lyon site, the platform is used to test the effectiveness of separation processes at a semi-industrial scale and in real conditions. Industrial players have had access to the platform since 2011.

* Gas-Oil-water Separation Platform

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Key figure

3 for 1

3 barrels of water are nowadays produced for 1 barrel of oil and this ratio will continue to increase in the coming years, as oil fields become more and more mature.