Throughout Saudi Arabia’s oilfields there are many water wells which have been drilled that have unsafe levels of hydrogen sulfide present, meaning that they cannot be used to supply water to oil and gas companies’ hydraulic fracturing operations.  The current demand for water in hydraulic fracturing is already beginning to become difficult to supply, often requiring that water must be sourced from over 40 kilometers away. In many situations there are water wells present near the hydraulic fracturing operations, but this water is unable to be used due to its high hydrogen sulfide content.

How to Get Rid of Hydrogen Sulfide in Water

PureLine proposes that in these situations it is beneficial to treat this previously unusable water with chlorine dioxide.

Chlorine dioxide is highly effective at oxidizing H2S thus making the water safe and ready to use in hydraulic fracturing operations.  In the presence of chlorine dioxide, hydrogen sulfide cannot exist and rapidly oxidizes by a complex set of reactions to other sulfur species.  This process is both safe and cost effective.  There is an estimated cost savings of upwards of 4x by using treatment of nearby water versus sourcing suitable water from great distances.  Also, it will be a benefit to operational reliability by sourcing nearby water instead of relying on bringing water from long distances which can create delays and logistical nightmares.

What is Chlorine Dioxide?

Chlorine dioxide is a powerful oxidizing, bleaching and disinfecting agent. Originally discovered in 1811 by Sir Humphrey Davis, chlorine dioxide did not come into commercial use until the mid-1940’s, mainly to supplement chlorine in wood pulp bleaching, water disinfection, and some specialty bleaching processes.

The sudden increase in chlorine dioxide use in the mid-1980’s prompted investigation into other applications and uses.  It was discovered (or reconfirmed) that:

  • Chlorine dioxide is a powerful oxidizer with 2.5 times the oxidizing power of chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite.
  • Chlorine dioxide is very effective at breaking down inorganic sulfur and nitrogen-based compounds, in particular hydrogen sulfide, iron sulfide, nitrates, nitrites, and nitrogen oxides.
  • Chlorine dioxide is specific in its action with the ability to break down unsaturated hydrocarbons, aldehydes, mercaptans, disulfides, and certain polymer gels without destroying saturated hydrocarbons or carboxyl acids.
  • Chlorine dioxide acts as a free radical (like hydrogen peroxide) making it both very reactive and very fast reacting.
  • Chlorine dioxide is a very powerful biocide that attacks and kills microorganisms on a cellular level.

Chlorine dioxide is a neutral chlorine compound and is very different from elemental chlorine, both in its chemical structure and in its behavior. One of the most important qualities of chlorine dioxide is its high water solubility, especially in cold water. Chlorine dioxide does not hydrolyze when it enters water; it remains a dissolved gas in solution. Chlorine dioxide is approximately 10 times more soluble in water than chlorine making it easy to generate and apply in water streams.

PureLine’s Chlorine Dioxide Solution for Hydrogen Sulfide

PureLine’s chlorine dioxide generators are being used by Oil and Gas companies around the world and have been tested by numerous for use with treated sewage effluent water during hydraulic fracturing operations. PureLine’s generators have demonstrated to be safe, effective, and have no negative impact on performance of fracturing fluids or well production.

Our mobile treatment trailers can be installed and up and running in just a few hours versus days to weeks of installing long distance pipelines. The units are manned 24h per day with personnel ensuring all water is treated exactly to specification. They also have the capability of being remotely monitored with real-time feedback using sensors in the water stream guaranteeing 100% treatment.  To ensure proper treatment the concentration of chlorine dioxide is measured in the treated water and a residual level is maintained.  As long as a residual of chlorine dioxide is maintained it is impossible for hydrogen sulfide to be present.  This is a unique advantage of chlorine dioxide treatment versus other oxidizers in that its presence in water can be easily measured using a handheld meter.

If you would like to learn more about PureLine’s chlorine dioxide solutions for oil and gas applications and for treating hydrogen sulfide, fill out the form below to get in contact with a PureLine representative.

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