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Chevron announces winners of Chevron Tech Challenge

In February, Chevron announced three winners for its Chevron Tech Challenge which appealed for innovative technologies and business solutions for water management issues in oilfields…

In February, Chevron announced three winners for its Chevron Tech Challenge which appealed for innovative technologies and business solutions for water management issues in oilfields. Each of the three winners will receive a $25,000 award. The Chevron Technology Ventures has now produced a water management program, conducted in collaboration with the US Department of Energy and the Water Security Grand Challenge, which seeks to meet the global need for safe, secure and affordable water by turning produced water from a waste into a resource.

Crystal Clear Resources (CCR)

CCR’s technology was an evaporator developed by Thermal Purification Technology, or TPTec, a UK-based company operating in Switzerland. TPTec formed a strategic partnership with CCR in 2016. Their 2,000 barrel per day test unit was set up at a saltwater disposal well in the Permian Basin and was fed 60,000 mg/L TDS. This unit used propane as a heat source and is called Low Temperature Distillation, or LTDis. CEO Derek Pedersen told Water in Oil there was pre-treatment beyond what the disposal well company did.

Pederson said that the treatment costs were under $1 per barrel. He also said they were considering treating the brine concentrate to solid for beneficial recovery using their LTDry system, but no plans currently exist. The test unit was fabricated in Hungary, but CCR plans for future fabrication to take place in the US.

Mangrove Water Technologies (MWT)

MWT’s successful electrochemical process converts the salts in produced water to sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid which can then be used on site and at salt water disposal wells for pH control. Any chemicals not needed on site would then be sold to outside parties.

Their process requires pretreatment for hardness and organics. Effluent quality is determined by feed TDS. Co-founder and CEO Saad Dara said that MWT may consider polishing the effluent with RO downstream of their unit. Dara declined to comment on the power requirement for the unit but was clear that a power plant would not be required to operate the unit. The pilot unit treats 4/m3 per day, but they are seeking funding for one that could handle 10,000 barrels per day.


Contract research and development company Techverse uses microporous hydrophobic membranes with wide channels and cross-flow velocities to stay clean. The membranes are called SmartFlow and were developed into a membrane distillation process for the Chevron Tech Challenge. Techverse sources the membranes from an outside party but has a modified process to maximize water recovery with a high solids load. Founder and President Ashok Damle told Water in Oil the open channels and, combined with Techverse’s implemented cross-flow, make the system tolerant to relatively high solid in the inlet and in the recycle flow. He said they can recover nearly 90% water.

Techverse’s intention is to purchase an oil water separator and a brine crystallizer to concentrate the reject solids. Presently, they’re relying on a “water management” company in the Permian Basin to land projects and promote their technology. They intend to establish a pilot unit for further development.

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