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OMV Petrom and WABAG: Completion of the new Produced Water Treatment Plant for the Suplacu oilfield in Romania

21st December 2017

WABAG Water Services SRL, Romania, a subsidiary of the Vienna-based VA TECH WABAG GmbH, has built a new and innovative plant for eco-friendly treatment of the produced water resulting from oil production for the country’s largest oil and gas group.

The facility incorporates several components and treatment steps

 A tailor-made process design has been realised, which represents the first plant with a combination of biological treatment and filtration processes for this application. The official opening took place in July 2017 in the course of a celebratory.

The plant serves the largest oilfields of the operated by OMV Petrom Group in in Romania, with an output of up to 700 t/d crude oil as of September 2017. However, it is not just oil that is pumped to the surface. As a by-product, every barrel is accompanied by ten to twelve times larger volume of water. This produced water contains oil and, among other substances, a significant amount of residual hydrocarbon compounds, which means that it must be subjected to appropriate treatment.

Dedicated to the environment

The international OMV Group with headquarters in Vienna is dedicated to a responsible approach to the environment and therefore implements a series of important protection measures. At the Suplacu oil field, the company has invested a two-digit million Euro amount in the construction of a highly modern Produced Water Treatment Plant.

Innovative: a tailor-made plant with new process design

The WABAG experts have designed an innovative, multi-stage treatment system and have thereby redefined the state-of-the-art. In the past, technology suppliers confined themselves to conventional chemical and physical process steps, but now for the first time, a biological process is being utilized for produced water treatment plant.

The implementation of the new process on the large customer’s plant having a capacity of 8,000 m3/d was preceded by on-the-spot pilot testing over several months. The results of all the test series showed that the required parameters could definitely be maintained.

Overall, the facility incorporates several components and treatment steps. These consist of storage and settlement tanks, dissolved-air-flotation (DAF), a cooling tower that reduces the temperature from 55°C to 35°C, biological treatment based on the activated sludge process, lamella clarifiers, two-layer filtration with flocculation and coagulation and activated carbon filtration, as well as sludge dewatering. A service water station and a fire-fighting system are also included.

From one single source

As the general contractor, WABAG was responsible for the design & engineering, construction, delivery, installation and commissioning of this essential project. Commissioning started at the beginning of 2017 and was completed earlier this year with successful trial operation. All the criteria of the stricter conditions for direct discharge were met without difficulty.

For WABAG, this project represents an important reference in the oil production segment of the oil and gas industry. For around ten years, the company has proven to be a reliable partner to OMV Petrom SA in Romania, having already successfully completed projects for the modernization of the effluent treatment plant at the Petrobrazi refinery. At the same time, WABAG has also provided the operational management for the facility since 2008.

Erwin Mötz, the CEO of WABAG Water Services SRL, Romania, remarked on the occasion of the opening of the new plant: “We have developed a wide range of competencies for industrial systems in Romania, above all, in the field of oil and gas and we are especially proud of the successful completion of the ambitious Suplacu project. This important reference will help us to transfer our know-how and experience to other markets and regions. In particular, we see considerable potential in the upstream sector.”