challenges in the oil & gas industry

Water treatment in the oil & gas industries covers a wide range of applications, such as:
  • Disposal or re-use of oily wastewater at refineries
  • Desalination of seawater for drinking water or process water
  • Disposal or re-use of produced water
  • Seawater injection
  • SAGD and boiler feed water
  • Low-salinity water injection and ion exchange
  • Cooling and process water
  • (C)EOR and IOR
  • Seawater sulfate removal (SRP)
  • Reverse osmosis (RO)

Handling water in the oil & gas industry is more than treatment alone: pumps, pipes, pressure vessels, instruments and controls are also needed to get a desired water quality.
The use of X-Flow nanofiltration (NF) and ultrafiltration (UF) technologies in the oil & gas industry requires extensive knowledge of end-user process conditions. This experience in process design, project document control, commissioning and startup services and a dedicated after-sales support, combined with a world class UF membrane manufacturing process, made X-Flow the market leader in seawater treatment. Among the largest desalination plants in the world, X-Flow has a market share of more than 40%.

Specifically for the oil & gas industry, X-Flow has innovative ultrafiltration  solutions to reduce footprint, chemical consumption and life cycle costs, which are increasingly important for offshore applications.

If you have any questions, please contact us.


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.

Depending on the operating mode, UF is known for complete removal of all suspended solids and free/disperged/emulsified oil:

  • Permeate quality is <<1 mg/ltr TSS and <<1 mg/ltr free/disperged/emulsified oil

This makes X-Flow UF technology very suitable for delivering the best feedwater quality to SRP, RO, (C)EOR, SAGD, NF and IX. 
X-Flow UF technologies are available in two different operating modes: 

Xiga and Aquaflex
These technologies ae well-suited for (sea)water where the feed has an oil content of less than 5 mg/ltr and a Total Suspended Solilds (TSS) of less than 30-50 mg/ltr. It is is known for its reduced footprint and low energy consumption. 

The Crossflow technology is better suited for much higher TSS concentrations (<200 mg/ltr) in the feedwater combined with an oil content of less than 1000 mg/ltr. Crossflow  is known for its reduced chemical consumption and concentrating the oil fraction 10 to 20 times.

Two featured applications

Refinery cooling tower feed

Refinery cooling tower feed systems that use RO permeate for boiler feed and the softened RO concentration for cooling tower make up in order to optimize the water use efficiency of these processes.

Produced water advanced water treatment

Remove all remaining oil and solids after secondary produced water treatment in order for the effluent to be directly used in an EOR, SAGD or other production process application.
Rig and FPSO ion specific, chemical free, and low energy sulfate removing membrane barrier that optimizes the cost effective EOR reinjection process offshore.

treatment solutions

X-Flow 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.

featured case

Daqing slider image

Heilongjiang province, China

Produced water