Use of ceramic membrane technology for sustainable management of oil production water: A review

Mansour Al-Haddabi*, Hari Vuthaluru, Mushtaque Ahmed, Hussein Znad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


The huge quantities of water produced along with oil make production of water one of the main challenges in the oil and gas industry. In the past, water produced in oil production was considered a tiresome by-product which represented a significant liability and cost to oil and gas production. Recently this attitude has changed and this water is now seenmore as a resource than a by-product. By 2025, 2.8 billion people (from 48 countries) will be living in water-scarce and water-stressed countries. The Sultanate ofOman is considered a semi-arid country where the average annual rainfall is about 100 mm. Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) produces around 700,000 m3/day of water associated with hydrocarbon production. Currently under half of this amount is injected back into reservoirs as water for reservoir management. The production of excessive quantities of water is the reason behind abandoning oil and gas wells, leaving huge quantities of hydrocarbons behind. Upgrading of low quality water (i.e. oil production water) for greening the desert or growing biofuels is becoming a strategic enabler for the sustainable development of remote oil fields. Although opportunities exist for the beneficial use of oil production water, there may be situations where treatment may not be economically feasible. In addition to volume, water quality is the other key determinant of suitablemanagement options. Due to the poor quality of oil production water which contains a complex mixture of organic and inorganic materials similar to those found in crude oil and natural gas, treatment might introduce potential economic, technological and environmental challenges. Another constraint for the management of oil production water is the regulatory framework which might cause restrictions to management options imposed by legislation. Economic constraints imposed by the costs associated with management options can influence the feasibility of particular management techniques. The application of ceramic membranes has shown great potential for oil in water separation and purification due to their superior mechanical, thermal and chemical stability and ease of generation after fouling. Very promising results were achieved by many researchers when using ceramic membranes for oily water treatment. In some studies the removal of oil, COD and TOC reach up to 99 %, 96 % and 94 %, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Progress in Desalination, Environmental and Marine Outfall Systems
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319191232
ISBN (Print)9783319191225
Publication statusPublished - Aug 31 2015


  • Ceramic membranes
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Management
  • Oil production water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of ceramic membrane technology for sustainable management of oil production water: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this