Water challenges

Water management is of key importance in the Oil & Gas industry. The need for huge volumes of water is as much of a challenge as managing the risks associated with access to sources, regulatory requirements and production goals. While demand for water increases, the quality and availability is under threat in many parts of the world. In addition to more water recycling, fresh water scarcity is driving the search for alternative water sources of lower quality to provide the feedwater to prepare process water. Effective water management along the entire supply chain has to include resource management, groundwater protection, wastewater treatment, and reuse opportunities.

The world’s largest industry recognizes the need to conserve, recycle, and reuse water. New production methods, such as hydraulic fracturing, directional well drilling, and reservoir stimulation, have created new and very diverse water treatment challenges. Some of these are highly specific and require unique and innovative solutions. 

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Water is an important industry resource, especially in upstream operations. Process water needs to meet certain quality standards to protect equipment and maintain production levels. Produced water needs treatment to ensure regulatory compliance and/or recycling. Many operators are facing stringent limits to the levels of phosphorus, nitrogen, copper, selenium and other contaminants. Fluctuating oil and gas prices lead to frequent moves between production locations, and water treatment installations need to be more compact and mobile than ever. 

Some of the newer extraction techniques, such as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), are water-intensive and generate large volumes of wastewater. Environmental legislation pushes technological innovation that allows more produced water to be recycled. The range of water treatment applications is as diverse as the industry and includes seawater desalination for drinking water or process water, low-salinity or seawater well injection, sulphate removal, preparing boiler feed and cooling water, ion exchange, and other pretreatment for enhanced oil recovery and reverse osmosis.


Pentair Advanced Filtration serves the industry with a wide range of innovative treatment solutions based on membrane technology. From FPSOs to refineries, ultrafiltration delivers complete removal of suspended solids, free and dispersed oil, and colloidal silica. Our many years of practical experience, combined with robust engineering, ensure the most reliable operations unhampered by changing feed conditions. We can guarantee that the permeate water quality will continue to meet your process requirements.

Ultrafiltration has become indispensable in cost-efficient water treatment, both in preparing process water and removing contaminants from produced water. Whether your process involves (SW)RO, IX, SRP or SAGD, we supply vital installation components as well as integrated treatment packages, designed and built for your specific application and local conditions. Modular treatment systems, compact and easy to transport, offer the economic benefits of a minimum footprint and maximum flexibility.  

Treatment solutions

  • Robust UF systems and components to produce process water and treat produced water
  • High-quality permeate water without any remaining solids or oil residues
  • Reliable and stable results, even with high fluctuations in feed characteristics
  • Membrane technology concentrates the separated oil 10-20 times
  • Cost-efficient UF reduces CAPEX, OPEX and footprint, also for downstream treatment steps
  • Significant reduction in number of treatment process steps and chemicals consumption

Featured case

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Heilongjiang province, China

Produced water

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