NMR Online Analysis of Discharge Water


Subsea processing of hydrocarbon production is gaining increasing traction. A focus is the separation of produced water and its subsea discharge, particularly with the advent of both FLNG, where surface separation presents a very expensive footprint, and deep-water production, where early water removal reduces flow assurance risks. On-line monitoring of the discharge water’s oil contamination at the part-per- million (ppm) level is essential for environmental compliance. Currently, applicable measurement technologies require optical access and make assumptions regarding the oil composition. Johns et al. have demonstrated at proof-of- concept stage a new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) device featuring solid-phase extraction (SPE) concentration, which does not require optical access, is self-calibrating and has ppm detection capability. The research fellow and PhD student will work on both automating the measurement capability and extended testing of its functionality. This will require detailed modelling of the SPE concentration device followed by its production using 3D printing (the main focus of the PhD student). The research fellow will co-ordinate the overall project and work on developing a robust magnet system able to operate at typical subsea pressures and cooled by natural convection of the surrounding sea-water.

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