Southern Nevada Section

Local Section Meeting Sept. 29, 2011


“Oil Field Produced Water, Separation and Disposal”

Presented by Dr. Ted Frankiewicz

Division Manager, Oil & Gas Production Facilities, SPEC Services


September 29, 2011

5:30 PM Reception and Refreshments, 6:00 PM Presentation

College of Southern Nevada

D Building, Room 101 (Auditorium)

6375 West Charleston Boulevard

Las Vegas, Nevada 89146


Visitors are Welcome


Biography: Oberlin College, B.S. Chemistry, University of Chicago, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Post Doctoral, Naval Research Laboratory; 37 years' experience with Kennecott Copper, Occidental Petroleum, Unocal Corp., Natco Group and, currently, SPEC Services; 15 patents, and 25 professional publications. At Unocal, he was responsible for developing the water treatment systems that were installed in the Gulf of Thailand to remove mercury and arsenic as well as residual oil from produced water. At Natco Group he developed an effective vertical column flotation vessel design and used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to diagnose problems with existing water treatment equipment, as well as designed new equipment. His combined expertise in oilfield chemistry, the design of process equipment, and the development of process systems has provided him with unique insights into the issues that challenge operators as their water production and water treatment costs escalate over time. Society of Petroleum Engineers, Distinguished Lecturer for 2009-2010.


Abstract: Global production of produced water is nearly 90 billion barrels per year. This water is generally considered to be a non-revenue fluid, yet it can have considerable value as an enhancer of oil production. Produced water needs to be handled and treated effectively to minimize injection or disposal costs and meet environmental requirements. In this talk, three interactive aspects of produced water treatment will be discussed: water chemistry; process hardware; and chemical treatment. To design new water treatment systems or to diagnose problems with existing systems, basic tenets must be followed: know the contaminants to be removed; avoid process recycle streams; and compensate for upstream process operations and chemical injection. The successful use of CFD to design water treatment equipment will be illustrated. In addition, the diagnosis and resolution of actual, challenging water treatment problems will be discussed as examples of how the application of fundamental information can be used beneficially, thus saving time, money, and aggravation for operating companies. The key message is that in order to design and operate a water treatment system that performs reliably and effectively, we have to understand and integrate the fundamentals of system chemistry, process operations, and equipment design. Dr. Frankiewicz will gladly answer questions from those who would like to know what it is like working in a part of the oil patch where chemists are few and far between.


Speaker taking questions from student chapter members.

The audience was amazed that in addition to turning on the pump quite a bit of chemistry is needed to get the oil out of the ground and to keep it coming.  Not all chemists work in the refinery.