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For years, conventional oil production facilities have been challenged with oil and water separation issues. These often lead to problems such as high oil losses to disposal, disposal pump filter change outs, and off-spec basic sediment and water (BS&W)—leaving producers with process stability concerns, increased production risks, and elevated operating costs. With a constant focus on improving profitability, these operators are desperate for game-changing technology that will provide improved results over existing treatment options.

A major operator in the Canadian conventional oil arena was continuously challenged with high oil-in-water (OIW) content, measuring 2,000 ppm on average. In addition, disposal pump filters needed to be changed out two times per month, adding further cost and downtime. Previous attempts to optimize the system resulted in an increase in treatment dosage rates and costs with little improvement in system performance. The operator needed a new solution that would not only improve oil and water separation, but also their bottom line. So, the operator reached out to Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), recognizing the company’s ability to solve challenging technical issues with innovative technologies.

BHGE began a customized solution by conducting a detailed site survey using the TOTAL SYSTEMS APPROACH™ process to better understand the root cause of the problem. Using emulsion samples provided by the operator, the team performed an onsite technical evaluation to determine the optimal solution.

Based on the test results, BHGE developed a custom TRETOLITE™ CLEAR demulsifier, formulated to meet the specific reservoir and operating conditions.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • High OIW content
  • High oil losses to disposal
  • Disposal pump filter change outs
  • Increased cost and downtime


  • Reduced OIW content by 98%
  • Increased disposal well capacity by 94%
  • Reduced BS&W by 67%