14 September 2021
Valuing water through technology
Technology is helping us meet our water stewardship goals across our operated assets and supporting our continuing efforts to use water in socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial ways.
At Angostura, a petroleum joint venture operated by BHP in Trinidad and Tobago, we’re trialing new water-treatment technologies designed to allow increased volumes of water to be safely released into the ocean.
Processes on-site produce water that has Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and contains phenols. These are common by-products of the production process which, if released untreated, could be toxic to aquatic life. The options to treat water for release that are safe for aquatic life, timely, and economically viable are a collective challenge for our industry and BHP is collaborating with other offshore operators in Trinidad and Tobago to develop suitable solutions for water treatment.
While current technologies allow us to meet our regulatory requirements for clean water, they can be slow, with process water accumulating faster than it can be treated and safely released back into the ocean. However, a trial of the latest ozone aeration technology is looking to decrease the time it takes for process water to be treated, resulting in more consistent and increased volumes of clean water that we can safely return into the local ecosystem. This is because the use of ozone treatment reduces the contact time required for disinfectants to oxidise the process water, more effectively reducing COD and phenol levels, and allowing higher daily discharge volumes.
Since the installation of the ozone skid at the onshore facility, process water has been treated more consistently allowing higher discharge volumes of clean water. Between July 2020 and February 2021, around 84,000 barrels of water were safely treated and discharged from storage, which is approximately five times the volume discharged over the same period last year .
With the trial ongoing, the data collected will be used to develop potential applications for offshore use . If the design is feasible, it could make our produced water discharge at the offshore facility more environmentally suitable.
Find out more about how we value water.