Archive for 2014

Water Standard is proud to announce that Lisa Henthorne has co-authored the article, “State-of-the-art of reverse osmosis desalination pretreatment.” This in-depth look at the current innovative pretreatment technologies for fouling control is published in Desalination Journal and can be accessed for free until January 29, 2015. Visit ScienceDirect – no sign up necessary.

Click HERE to Read Article

HOUSTON, Nov. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Water Standard ( is pleased to announce the launch of its compact Membrane Deaeration (MDA) product line for use in waterflooding, improved oil recovery (IOR), and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications.  Water Standard partnered with Membrana as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for Liqui-Cel® membrane contactors and successfully piloted the technology in continuous seawater trials resulting in a proprietary system that, relative to vacuum towers, requires 50% less space and weight while providing more efficient oxygen removal.

“We are excited to deliver this state-of-the-art, proven technology to the oil & gas industry. MDA is a superior technology compared to conventional vacuum towers and can be used in multiple applications including deaerating produced water,” said Amanda Brock, CEO of Water Standard.

Lisa Henthorne, Water Standard’s Chief Technology Officer, explains, “The MDA pilot unit produced approximately 5,000 barrels per day of deaerated seawater and operated without chemical oxygen scavenging, scaling or fouling of the membranes for an extended period.  The pilot evaluated operating and design parameters such as seawater flow rate, level of pre-filtration, and nitrogen sweep rate. Throughout pilot testing, the MDA unit consistently achieved less than 10 parts per billion (ppb) of dissolved oxygen in the treated water without chemical addition. This compares very favorably to vacuum towers, which normally achieve 50-100 ppb and require additional oxygen scavenging chemicals.”

“When water is viewed holistically across the entire water cycle in the oilfield, the inherent benefit and value of the resource becomes more apparent. Water Standard is focused on maximizing this benefit to the O&G Operator. Costs across the entire water treatment spectrum can be significantly lowered and the opportunities to effectively target specific problems are dramatically enhanced,” Henthorne says. Water Standard is also very focused on reducing footprint and weight of overall water treatment process facilities and can deliver flexible, compact membrane systems for filtration, sulphate removal, low salinity treatment, and deaeration through its C-H2Ocean Spectrum technology suite of products.

For more information on Water Standard’s compact membrane deaeration product line please visit, call 713-400-4777, or email


Water Standard is a global water treatment specialist and recognized leader in delivering innovative desalination, water-based enhanced oil recovery and produced water solutions to the onshore and offshore oil & gas industry. The company uses proprietary designs and processes employing proven technologies incorporated into mobile offshore facilities or modular onshore customized water treatment systems. Water Standard offers flexible contract options for products and services ranging from specialized engineering and design to turn-key and fully outsourced solutions.

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There are troubled waters ahead…but if water treatment companies can ride the wave of low oil prices, new growth opportunities will emerge, argues Amanda Brock.
Just as we thought, the last global recession was behind us, we are abruptly reminded how tentative and fragile any perceived economic recovery could be. The global economy appears to be heading toward an uncertain future, and while it is not yet clear what the short- and long-term impact will be on the growth of the water sector, the current volatility in oil prices underscores again how inextricably water and energy are linked.

The International Monetary Fund in its October World Economic Outlook Report downgraded its growth forecast for the global economy for 2014 and 2015, citing an increase of risks, stagnation, low potential growth in advanced economies and a decline in potential growth in emerging markets. This report did not fully anticipate the impact of the recent rapid decline in oil prices, which have plummeted by more than 26% from a high in June. The International Energy Agency (IEA) followed this negative trend, and this month slashed its forecast for oil demand by 22%, citing the weakest growth in five years, while describing this drop in demand as “nothing short of staggering”. At the same time, the IEA highlighted the growing global glut of oil, fuelled largely by the unprecedented growth of US shale production.

Now Saudi Arabia has weighed in, and made it very clear that in order to maintain its market share, it is prepared to lower prices for a year or two, and will not support higher prices with unilateral cuts in production. Other OPEC and non-OPEC nations are following suit in a move analysts say will curb new investments in the US and global shales, and ultra-deepwater projects. Oil prices then suffered the single largest drop in price in over three years on 14 October, rattling global stock markets, with many assuming the worst is yet to come. In a 2013 article in the Telegraph, oil was referred to as both the lifeblood and poison of the global economy, with the unerring ability to play havoc, and that is exactly what oil prices are doing. What, then, does this all mean for the oil and gas water treatment sector?

Over the last few years, as opportunities for real growth in the global municipal water sector remained tepid, the upstream energy sector emerged as a promising new market, and water players rushed in to compete for market share. Among the larger companies, Veolia and Siemens are now firmly entrenched, with GE and Suez Environnement late to the game, but charting an aggressive course to succeed. Numerous smaller companies have also staked their future in the onshore shale markets. However, given the oversupply of hydrocarbons, there will be a fundamental slowdown in the upstream sector as costs are examined, projects delayed or even cancelled, and many shale development opportunities will be reconsidered and possibly shelved until prices and demand rise again. While there is no need to panic, the cyclical upstream water treatment market is not for the faint-hearted.

Sustainable water infrastructure continues to be the focus at many Water and Oil & Gas conferences this year. Come hear Amanda Brock’s thoughts on the subject. Lively discussion is expected during the Water Sustainability: Current Policies and Lessons Learned panel discussion to be held at the SXSW ECO conference in Austin, October 6-8, 2014. Amanda’s panel is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7 at 3:30 pm.Amanda Brock

Compact Water Handling WS_Upstream Technology Mag


Amanda Brock will deliver opening remarks at the Sustainable Water Management in the Texas Oil and Gas Industry event at the Atlantic Council Headquarters in Washington D.C. on July 29, 2014. The focus will be on the use of water by the Texas oil and gas industry and critically examining the solutions at hand in Texas.

The event starts with a keynote presentation by David Porter, Commissioner of the Texas Railroad Commission and features a panel of experts from the Texas oil, gas, and water treatment industries.

Learn more about the Atlantic Council and this important issue by visiting

Regulatory confusion reigns…but that may turn out to be good news for a water industry looking for opportunities in the onshore energy industry, argues Amanda Brock.
One thing is clear, environmental regulations have not kept up with the explosive growth of the US onshore energy industry. The regulatory process is moving at a glacial pace and is playing catch-up with an industry where speed and efficiency translates to success. Despite the absence of clear regulatory guidelines, oil and gas operators concerned with increased stress on surface and ground water supplies, continue to evaluate alternatives to better manage water throughout the hydrocarbon production lifecycle. That means opportunities for water treatment and technology companies. However, the challenge remains: where and how can water companies build a sustainable business in this sector? The recent actions of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may provide some insights.

First a little history is needed here. Dick Cheney, who had previously headed the giant oil field service company Halliburton, is viewed as leading the charge under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to exclude hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act except where diesel fuels are concerned. The US Congress at the time also gave the oil and gas industry other exemptions from environmental regulations, including the Clean Water Act (CWA). These exemptions are sometimes referred to as the ‘Halliburton loopholes’. There is momentum building to find ways to eliminate or undermine these existing loopholes and the EPA is central to this effort.

While the EPA continues to delay its much-anticipated report on the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, it recently issued a series of reports and proposed rules relating to water use and the discharge of wastewater in energy production. These regulations and proposals, while designed to eliminate uncertainty, muddy the waters.

The EPA, for example, has now released proposed rules to clarify what US waters are covered by the CWA. One of the main goals of the revisions is to identify water bodies which have a significant “nexus” to waters currently covered by the CWA and to then evaluate these other waters on a case-by-case basis. The inherent uncertainty of what new waters are now covered has many accusing the EPA of dramatically expanding federal authority over state and private water rights. These rules, if promulgated, will have a definite impact on how energy companies will source surface water and site their production facilities.

The EPA has also released two reports on waste generated by oil and gas production and concludes that the federal government should encourage the development of additional and improved best practices. Produced water is the largest oil and gas production waste stream with more than 21 billion barrels generated annually in the US. However, waste from oil and gas operations falls under one of the loopholes and is currently largely exempt from federal waste regulations. This will change at some point and any changes will directly impact the treatment and disposal of produced water.

The emphasis for oil and gas operators has to be improved self-sufficiency, while efficiently managing the water life cycle using primarily either brackish water for as long as it is not further regulated, or recycled produced water. The opportunity for water companies will be in developing solutions for sourcing, managing, treating, recycling and minimising the disposal of the huge volumes of brackish and produced water needed, as cost effectively as possible.

The EPA’s website identifies all of its areas of concern such as the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water, ensuring the safe disposal of related wastes, underground injection of waste disposal fluids, and use of surface ponds. The EPA concludes that recycling has “the potential to reduce discharges…minimise underground injection of wastewater and conserve water resources”. That’s about as certain as the EPA is going to get right now, but provides guidance the water industry should consider.