The first mobile water plant ready for the North Sea
With new technology from Tratec Halvorsen, late-phase oil wells can be emptied faster, more environmentally friendly and at a lower cost.
- We have developed a container-based process module, which creates oxygen-free fresh water to wash out salt from oil, says general manager Frode Olsen.
The solution is developed on request and challenge from Equinor.
Because the module is easily removable and can be produced much faster and cheaper than the fixed installations traditionally used on the platforms, it will revolutionize so-called tail projects on the shelf.
"The operators no longer have to wait so long to get started with emptying the wells that may not have been possible on the basis of high realization costs," says Bjørn Helleren, who is responsible for offshore operations at Tratec Halvorsen.
The compact module is approved according to NORSOK Z-015N, the standard that defines the technical and safety-related requirements for temporary equipment used on facilities on the Norwegian continental shelf. This means that it can be installed on any platform regardless of operator.
The first container module is now at Øyesletta in Kvinesdal, a clear shipment to the Heimdal platform - operated by Equinor.
- If everything goes as we hope, we will also receive orders from other operators. We see a large market in the North Sea, both on the Norwegian and British sides. The challenge of salt in oil is worldwide such as in the Gulf of Mexico where many mature fields are limited by this. Here are opportunities, says Frode Olsen.
The water production in the container takes place without the use of chemicals, which is a clear plus when the southern country company is now going out and marketing its new product.
- The process is environmentally friendly. We make fresh water from the seawater, remove oxygen and heat it up to 40 degrees to avoid organic growth and wax problems in the well. All of this happens inside a 20 foot long container. You may well call this a compact factory. It delivers between 50 and 70 cubic meters of water a day, says Roald Ingebretsen, who has led the development project.
With today's capacity, Tratec Halvorsen will be able to produce ten modules a year.
He does not hide the fact that Tratec Halvorsen has great ambitions for the new concept. Especially since the company works closely with Veolia Water Technologies, a French giant that is a world leader in water purification solutions.
- Together we will develop such systems. The market for mobile complete modules is guaranteed to increase in the coming years, as more fields become more mature. We especially see this in the North Sea, says Olsen.