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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.

A customized solution

BHGE began 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™ SNAP demulsifier, formulated to meet the specific reservoir and operating conditions.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Oil and water separation issues


  • 98% Reduction in OIW content
  • 94% Increase in disposal well capacity
  • 67% Reduction in BS&W