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Advanced Controls Package

Advancement in H2O Spectrum® Produced Water Controls

By Buddy Boysen, Engineering & Technology Director-

In an industry dominated by $50-55/bbl US oil prices, 2019 is shaping up to be a competitive year. We are seeing the realization of machine learning and statistics-based equipment controls and the improvements in overall production efficiency that these tools help create.

As an advanced water and produced water treatment technology company, the current market conditions are creating very competitive CAPEX projects that require cost-competitive treatment solutions. On the water treatment services side, the market conditions require tight control of chemical consumption, manpower and use of consumable products. In addition, today’s end users want differentiated products. Therefore, equipment companies like ours can no longer focus only on efficiency and treat fabrication shops simply as factories driven to reduce costs. To remain profitable and achieve ever tightening water treatment goals, companies are optimizing every aspect of their operations. Our focus must be on our people, the journey of our company and the integrity of our products.

To explain further, our business has shifted to two separate bottom lines. The first bottom line is financial-based, which is obvious and will not be the focus of this blog. The second bottom line measures the positive social impact of the company. It helps explain why the treatment equipment and service industries that we operate within need leaders, not managers, to find new ways to innovate in the face of sustainable lower oil prices and potentially lower incremental profits. For efficiency, technology now plays an integral role in all aspects of the equipment design and fabrication process. In terms of the second bottom line and making a positive social impact, efficiency goals must ensure that companies remain profitable while offering improved working conditions, more meaningful roles to their employees and the opportunity to develop products that are individually relevant.

As a technology director, my job is to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of computer-based modelling, programming and equipment design tools and to assess how they can positively impact our team and the end users. Although it goes without saying that design platforms like COMPRESS for pressure vessel code design and ANSYS for process modelling and CFD are industry standards for the tank and pressure vessel based conventional produced water systems we build, a key focus of our effort has been on machine learning systems.

I’m excited to announce that we are working with machine learning to develop a progressive control platform. The code we’re developing will optimize more advanced produced water treatment process controls for biological and chemical treatment processes including oxidation, coagulation and flocculation for produced water reuse applications, which can be prone to upsets, are susceptible to significant operational cost changes from overdosing and require significant operator intervention to manage upsets. These control solutions will improve the product integrity and simplify the operation of our systems for the end user.

We are extremely proud of the work we are undertaking and look forward to successfully releasing our advanced produced water control platform in 2020.

Your Thoughts?

If you have a passion for improving technology in the water treatment sector, please share your thoughts and ideas – or consider sharing operational data to help the industry benefit from our progress. Contact us today!

Shale Water Technology Spotlight-H2O Spectrum® Platform & H2O Floc™

Water Standard and Monarch Separators are pleased to be highlighted in E&P Magazine’s Shale Water Technology Showcase.

In this special section of the July issue, E&P highlights some of the latest products and technologies for shale and looks at how they will benefit companies in their ongoing search for improved production and more effective operating techniques.

Water Standard – H2O Spectrum®  Platform

Long-Term Water Treatment Solutions Designed to Enable Reuse or Surface Discharge

Water Standard is helping energy companies lower operating costs by safely and economically treating their produced and flowback water.  Water Standard has developed their compact and modular H2O Spectrum® platform after successfully executing demonstration programs in the Permian, DJ and Powder River basins for treatment of produced and flowback water where cost and operability were key drivers. The H2O Spectrum® platform offers the ability to treat water for reuse and recycle, or advanced treatment for safe surface discharge back into the water cycle, demonstrating the stewardship of this water as our most valuable resource.  The general constituents targeted for removal in reuse applications include oil and grease, suspended solids, bacteria and iron, while treatment for surface discharge extends to the removal of salt, ammonia, and dissolved organics.

Monarch Separators’ H2O Floc™

Green Flocculant Demonstrates Stewardship of Water as a Resource Through Cost-Effective Water Recycling

Monarch Separators’ green flocculant, H2O Floc™ , is used to reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas operations through cost-effective produced and flowback water recycling, while improving oil recovery. This green alginate flocculant’s primary treatment objectives are removal of oil and grease and total suspended solids, and when used in conjunction with an oxidant, metals, H2S and bacteria.  Through multiple pilot scale produced and flowback water treatment tests in the Permian, DJ and Powder River Basins, H2O Floc™ chemistry was able to reduce turbidities from greater than 650 NTU to 1 NTU and oil removal to less than 2 mg/L, and iron and manganese to less than 1 mg/L, while being dosed at a much lower rate than current market flocculants.

Offshore Rig Orange Istock 000020867617 Sm

Lisa Henthorne Shares Insight with Offshore Engineer Magazine

For today’s blog, we thought it would be best to share a recent article in which Lisa Henthorne, Chief Technology Officer, shared her insight. The article was written by contributing editor of Offshore Engineer Magazine, Jennifer Pallanich and we appreciate her reaching out to Lisa for her thoughts on this ever-changing topic.

A Push for Better Offshore Water Treatment

Changing environmental regulations around the world will have an impact on how the offshore industry handles produced water.

Typically, offshore operators treat their produced water so it can be discharged back into the ocean, although there has been growing interest in reinjecting it into the formation, says Lisa Henthorne, the newly elected president of the Produced Water Society, and senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Water Standard and its produced water subsidiary, Monarch Separators.

Discharge limits are trending more stringent, and some operators are shifting toward green chemicals, which are less problematic in the environment, as a way to meet those lower parts per million (ppm) ceilings.

“They biodegrade faster,” Henthorne says, adding Water Standard’s own green flocculant is called H2O Floc™. “Ours is sourced from seawater algae, so it is going back to the environment it came from. It is extremely effective, basically corralling dispersed oil and suspended solids so the treated water can be discharged or reinjected for waterflooding.”

At the same time, improved filtration systems need to efficiently meet those more stringent discharge limits while also taking up the minimum footprint possible on an offshore rig, she says. Existing systems may need to be replaced or supplemented as regulations around the world come into force.

One example is Brazil, where new regulations from the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) and Brazil’s National Environment Council (CONAMA) change the permitted method of analyzing treated water for discharge while still maintaining the level of permitted ppm.

Flocculant For Produced Water

In essence, Henthorne says, an offshore operator could previously analyze treated water via a method that didn’t pick up polar hydrocarbons – benzene, toluene, ethylene and xylene – and in the first quarter of 2020, they will be required to use an analysis method that does. So, if the previous analysis method didn’t pick up 5 ppm of polar hydrocarbons and the new methods do, it might push the treated water over the maximum allowance, she says.

The upshot is they may “need a better treatment system to discharge the same water than they did before,” Henthorne says. Some upgrades, additional treatment steps and changes to equipment are likely, she adds, noting different chemicals or increased doses may also be part of the answer.

Another answer might be an Excursion System, which treats water only if it exceeds the range acceptable for discharge, she says. She calls the Excursion System a “backup plan” to use for treating off-spec water after the primary treatment. Monarch Separators has been installing those units offshore around the globe for over a decade.

Some operators are planning to handle more produced water by reinjecting it for waterflooding. The challenge in this, Henthorne says, is a function of the reservoir geology, chemistry and permeability.

Reinjection may require the operator to remove even more suspended solids than if they were discharging the water overboard.

“Those are not necessarily easily removed, so they may need to add a flotation device, or flocculant to combine those fine constituents into a larger solid for efficient removal,” she says.

Filtration will also help, she adds, although conventional media filtration is a weight-intensive technology so not desirable in offshore applications. Membrane technology, such as Water Standard’s H2Ocean Spectrum® product line, is a cost-effective alternative that can filter finer solids in a compact, light-weight configuration, she adds.

“Anytime you’re talking about offshore and new equipment, the old story of weight and footprint are still true, it’s a fundamental characteristic. It’s not going to change,” Henthorne says. “That’s where the newer technologies can really make a difference.”

Produced Water Filtration System

Uzo Snapshot 1 (6 14 2019 3 33 Pm)

Importance of Internships – From the Company and Intern’s Perspective

By Julie Bennett, Marketing Communication Specialist

In today’s competitive climate, I thought it would be helpful to share how participating in an internship program can benefit a company as well as the intern. Let me explain.

Tasked with the important role of treating water for the energy industry, our company strongly believes in always looking ahead, whether that means in water treatment technology advancements, market trends, or even future talent. The energy industry is in constant flux, with operators on the hunt for faster, safer, more cost effective solutions to the water challenges they face in their day to day operations, all while being good stewards of the environment. This search for innovative solutions requires a creative, forward thinking team and we have found building that strong team is the first and most important step.

One of the tools we use to build a team that is passionate, driven and forward thinking is to participate in local internship programs.  We believe that getting a fresh perspective from the younger generation and learning how they think, how they view the industry and what they are learning in school, provides an opportunity for us to think outside the box. The interns are excited to gain exposure to their chosen field and we are thrilled to share it with them as we evaluate up-and-coming talent, expose young professionals to our brand, and create a work environment that benefits us both. It’s a perfect way to avoid some of the common pitfalls associated with making a hiring commitment without having a full picture of how that individual will fit in the company.

From the intern’s perspective, I felt it would be best to hear from an actual intern. See below for my brief interview with Uzochukwu Anwaegbu, also known as Uzo, a Senior at the University of Houston. Uzo is currently enjoying a great opportunity as a Chemical Engineer intern here at Water Standard (WS) and our produced water subsidiary, Monarch Separators (MS). Read on to see what Uzo has to say about his experience thus far.


Julie: Uzo, how did you end up in this internship at Water Standard / Monarch Separators?

Uzo: I met Eric Edmonds, Sr. Buyer at WS/MS, on the soccer field. After I had beat him in a one-on-one (yep, that’s what I said), we started talking about life, my goals and the direction I saw for my future. The conversation ended up on the topic of a potential internship at the company. Eric is definitely a good guy so I thought I should give it a shot and we started the process.


Julie: So, what are you studying and what is your objective with this internship?

Uzo: I’m studying Chemical Engineering at U of H – go Cougars! My hope is to apply the techniques I’m learning in school to real life applications to better understand the process and give me some experience working on real projects.


Julie: How has the experience been so far?

Uzo: The company has been so welcoming and has taken me in like family. I am learning so much about water treatment for the oil and gas industry. I did not realize how complex water can be and the amount of science there is behind treating it to safe standards for the environment. I have a passion for the environment, so the work has been very relevant and has opened my eyes to the efforts companies like Water Standard and Monarch Separators are putting forth to find safe, economical, yet effective solutions to the water treatment needs of operators. It’s been a beneficial and rewarding experience so far and I look forward to learning more.


Julie: Is it safe to say you would recommend internships, such as yours, for college students?

Uzo: Absolutely. Not only am I developing my engineering skills, I’m also learning about the day to day operations of a company that designs, engineers and fabricates their products. I’m seeing the whole process. I’m meeting established professionals, broadening my network, and taking in every minute of it.

 

Produced Water Challenges and Solutions

Lisa Henthorne, Chief Technology Officer at Water Standard and its produced water subsidiary, Monarch Separators, shares her observations regarding the produced and flowback water challenges faced by operators today.Growing volumes of produced water coupled with restrictions imposed on salt water disposal wells are causing operators to search for alternative solutions for their produced and flowback water.Click HERE to listen to Lisa’s thoughts on this very relevant topic.

Lisa Henthorne
Sr. Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Fundamental shift Onshore Produced Water Duane

Fundamental Shift in Produced Water Treatment

Duane Devall, Vice President of Global Sales at Water Standard, shares his thoughts on a fundamental shift in the handling of produced water by the oil and gas industry. With the increased volumes of water required in frac operations, the strain on our water resources is real and the challenges of managing the water after production has operators at a crossroads. Click HERE to watch the video or read a quick synopsis of Duane’s interview below.      

Duane was asked to give his thoughts on the state of produced water treatment in the oil and gas industry. He begins by explaining that one of the biggest changes he has seen in his 20 years in the industry has been the perception of produced water by operators. Historically, produced water has been considered a waste stream; something that needs to be treated to the minimum requirements and disposed of as quickly and cheaply as possible. Now, water is viewed as a value stream and the focus is to treat this water for reuse rather than disposal. One of the main drivers of this change in perception is the massive volume of water required for use in the frac industry.  One frac job can use up to 1MM barrels of water. All that water has to come from somewhere and then the operators are faced with the challenge of what to do with this now contaminated water that has been used. The volumes exceed what the operators are able to reuse in their operations and the disposal wells are becoming strained; therefore, the industry must find a way for this water to return to the natural water cycle. Duane feels that eventually, there will be no way around the concept that safe surface discharge is the future. He then touched on the main focus of Water Standard and its produced water subsidiary, Monarch Separators. Together, they have been successfully piloting and developing a cost effective and environmentally friendly treatment process called H2O Spectrum® platform. The system offers the flexibility for operators to treat their water for reuse and/or continue the treatment process to higher levels required for safe surface discharge. Since it is a modular system, it can be tailored to meet different project requirements as well as varying (and very challenging) inlet water quality. The success of H2O Spectrum® platform has been very exciting so if you would like to find out more about this innovative process, reach out directly to sales@waterstandard.com.

Valentina's viewpoint

Valentina’s Viewpoint

Valentina LlanoAttending the Rocky Mountains Shale Water Management 2018 conference a couple of weeks ago made me realize once again the important role these events play in the Business Development world. The day-to-day minutiae of our jobs often prevents us from leaving the confines of our office. Afraid we will fall behind on daily tasks such as email and follow up calls can actually bring a sense of dread when the date of the conference sneaks up on you. But you pack your bag and off you go, ready to learn, mingle and hopefully make some real connections.To keep this short and relevant, we’ll skip ahead to the conference itself – at the wonder of whether this will be worth it. And then it begins… conversations, connections, interesting insight to the region, market and competition. As the the time begins to fly by, the emails dinging on your phone go unanswered and you become fully engrossed in the potential and prospects before you. Industry colleagues you wouldn’t meet otherwise, partnership opportunities and that ever- elusive market insight that we all seek. The next thing you know, you’re back at the airport attempting to organize your thoughts and lay out plans to make the most of your time spent out of the office.So what did I learn? Confirmation that water, water, and water is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Fresh water, produced water, frac water. How to get it, treat it, reuse it, move it, and where to store it.  Colorado, with some of the most stringent regulations, is forcing the water treatment and management industry to look at solutions in a more collaborative way. This is something we at Water Standard and Monarch Separators have believed in for a long time – work together, collaborate and knowledge share. As stated at the conference, the worldwide produced water market is over $5.8 billion with the US alone estimated to produce 52 MM BBLs of water per day.This isn’t a statistic that can be overlooked anymore. To handle these volumes, this water needs to be recycled, reused or treated to safe discharge standards in order to maintain our water cycle and remove the strain on SWDs. No, this isn’t new news but it’s bigger news, more relevant news and it has moved to the front page.Future of Produced WaterTherefore, my biggest take away from the conference is to put ourselves out there and continue our path of helping operators find the best, most cost-effective solution to this growing water problem. Our portable lab and demonstration  units have been running full force as we test the nastiest produced and flowback waters to validate solutions, optimize existing systems and search for partners in this ongoing effort to get the earth’s water cycle back in balance.If you are overflowing with produced or flowback water and want to learn about our recent efforts, reach out today at info@monarchseparators.com.

Tsunami of water Permian

A "Tsunami" of Water – Produced Water Society’s Permian Basin Conference Review

Water Standard and its produced water subsidiary, Monarch Separators, are firm believers in keeping abreast of the latest developments in water treatment for the oil and gas industry. Attending conferences and participating in technical sessions is one component of our technology research and advancement. More importantly, hearing directly from the Operators to learn about the challenges faced in the field… well, that’s invaluable. Last week, Water Standard’s Chief Technology Officer, Lisa Henthorne, participated in the Produced Water Society’s (PWS) Permian Basin conference and was “wowed” once again. This was PWS’ 2nd annual conference in the Permian and it was a packed house, nearly tripling the attendance from last year. As a moderator and attendee, Lisa learned first hand what is happening at ground zero in the prolific Permian. With some interesting and staggering figures coming from the Permian, it’s clear to see that Produced Water is the hottest topic in town. The outlook in the region was commonly referred to as a “tsunami” of produced water heading from the Permian. So what does this all mean? There is finally a gradual adoption of produced water reuse throughout the Permian. Operators such as EOG and Pioneer are paving the way with innovative reuse programs. We believe, it’s about time and more operators need to follow suit. There is still a long way to go but at least the message is pointing in the right direction. Currently the trend for water treatment is continuing with limited, low cost treatment using biocide/oxidants. However 60% of the wells are souring due to the lack of consistent and effective biocide use. Therefore, more effective, yet affordable technologies are required to handle the massive volumes of water and to promote the responsible use of our precious water resources. 

The Lindy Effect

The Lindy Effect

-By Duane Devall, Sr. Sales ConsultantHave you heard of the Lindy Effect?According to one of my favorite authors, Nassim Taleb, who has written several books such as Black Swan, Antifragile, Fooled by Randomness, and his latest, Skin in the Game, the Lindy Effect is a measure of fragility in a system. When evaluating the life expectancy (or fragility) of a non-perishable entity, such as a technology, the Lindy Effect is the true meta-expert when it comes to predicting life cycles. In simple terms, if a technology (or other non-perishable entity) has existed for 40 years, then it is safe to assume that it will remain in existence for the next 40 years. If that same technology lasts for 10 more years, therefore existing for 50 years, then it is expected to last an additional 50 years. It’s pretty interesting to consider so I wanted to take it one step further.Reflecting on the implications of this concept within my own lengthy water treatment career, the strong correlation between the Lindy Effect and produced water treatment in upstream Oil & Gas became abundantly clear. With conventional water production increasing worldwide and unconventional resources taking center stage on the global scene, what once used to be a waste stream that no one bothered to address, has now taken a prominent role on the balance sheets of Oil & Gas operators. In addition, the large amounts of freshwater used to produce unconventional oil and gas, has the public very aware of what the industry is doing with our precious water resources. Hard questions are being asked regarding the sourcing and final destination of the huge quantities of water used in oil and gas operations.Do we dispose, recycle, or discharge to the environment? If we dispose of this water in a salt water disposal well (SWD), do we address the fact that this water is permanently removed from the water cycle? Is it possible to replenish our rivers and streams with treated oilfield produced water? Can we use produced water for agricultural purposes such as irrigation? A plethora of questions must be answered as we push forward into the unconventional space.So this gets me back to the Lindy Effect. Due to the importance of water treatment in our current environment, customers are inundated with claims of new technologies, innovative solutions, and next-generation equipment. New businesses with minimal funding and a pilot unit are out in the water treatment marketplace with a mobile black box that will be a one stop “magic bullet” for all water treatment needs.With all these claims, it is implied that there really is something

Corrugated Plate Interceptor (CPI)
Monarch Separators CPI
Monarch Separators Heavy Oil Flotation System
Monarch Separators IGF System

 

Filling the knowledge gap

Filling the Knowledge Gap in the Produced Water Industry – The Feynman Technique

Kirk Wagner President, Monarch Separators, A Water Standard Company Richard Feynman was a brilliant, Nobel Prize-winning American physicist (1918-1988). His accomplishments abound. One notable accomplishment that I find particularly useful working in the Produced Water marketplace (where complexity and jargon thrive) is his technique for understanding and explaining a difficult concept, or say technology, in simple terms. His successful mental model was coined the Feynman Technique. In its simplest form, the Feynman Technique is as follows:

  1. Choose a concept.
  2. Teach it to a young person.
  3. Identify gaps in your explanation then return to the source material.
  4. Review and simplify.

Take a concept such as Produced Water Treatment. Is it clear to you what it takes to “treat” Produced Water? Could you explain this to a 10 year old? Or try to teach it to a fresh, out of college petroleum engineer that is now responsible for your project’s technical bid tab? One gap you may find early in the teaching phase is how does one define “treat”? Does “treatment” in Texas’ Permian Basin mean the same thing as “treatment” in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg or DJ Basin? Can you explain if “Gunbarrels” (I warned you about industry jargon) really meet “treatment” standards in both basins? I assure you when you go back to your source material, you will find complexity in your explanation that should be reviewed again and simplified.

At Water Standard and Monarch Separators we have always tried to simplify; to take a complex concept, break it down to digestible pieces and provide it back to our industry colleagues and customers in an intuitive way. Like many in the industry, we don’t always get it right but we have found that collaboration and the Feynman Technique are helpful in getting better at it. In future blog posts, we will attempt to continue the spirit of this last sentence. My colleagues will collaborate with the industry by writing about arious water-related concepts and technologies in this blog that we examine and use in our daily work. My challenge to them and the reader is the same. While collaboration is easy, you will find that to simplify difficult concepts or technologies is hard. That is, unless you use the Feynman Technique. Reach out if you’d like to talk further. kawagner@monarchseparators.com

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