A study on the quantities and potential use of produced water in southern Iraq

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This paper presents the results of an analysis of volumes and chemical composition of produced water (PW) accompanying oil production from five of the largest oilfields in the world situated in Basrah, Iraq. PW is potentially a valuable water resource particularly there where the ramp up of oil production puts further strains on water and the environment in an area already having severe water shortages. PW should therefore be seen as part of the country's strategic water reserves rather than as effluent. This study gives first estimates of anticipated PW volumes correlated to peak oil production and water consumption needs with time up to 2035. At least a fivefold increase of PW within the next two decades relative to the current 1 Mbbl/d can be anticipated. The estimated PW quantity before 2030 represents nearly a third of water injection or salt-tolerant plant irrigation needs. These quantities and the chemical composition of PW from these fields indicate that quality standards for these purposes can be technically attained and sustained for use in Basrah.

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