Molab has entered into an agreement with Statoil to analyse produced water from 40 installations on the Norwegian continental shelf over the next few years. The samples will be transported to Porsgrunn, where they are to be analysed by Molab. The company is housed on the top storey of the Research Park of Herøya Industripark.
“Our measurements and analyses help to ensure that no environmentally noxious substances are released in the produced water,” says Molab Branch Manager at Herøya Industripark, Arne Åsheim.
“This is an important commission for us,” Marketing Manager for Molab, Wenche Brennbakk, tells offshore.no. For some years, Molab has worked together with DNV on monitoring the environmental status of the sea bed by surveying the chemical and physical characteristics of the sediments on the Norwegian continental shelf. The company has developed solid skills in environmental analyses.
“We have won this contract in competition with other players, and we see it as an important milestone towards offering more and more services to the oil and gas industry,” says Molab CEO Eigil Dåbakk.
Ensuring a return of clean water The contract includes the analysis of produced water from the oil and gas reservoir. Produced water contains both naturally occurring water from the formations and water injected to increase extraction. The produced water rises through the oil well with the well flow, is separated from the oil and gas, cleaned, and then released or re-injected into the reservoir.
Molab’s job is to analyse the samples in order to test and ensure that the water is clean before being released or injected back into the reservoir. Produced water may contain a number of organic components and metals which can affect the environment.
Advanced analyses “The authorities have strict demands for high levels of water purification. We are talking about tiny amounts of chemical components, requiring advanced chemical analysis techniques to detect,” says Manager Arne Åsheim at Molab’s Porgrunn branch.
“Our measurements and analyses are needed to help ensure that no harmful substances are released. It requires both skill and advanced technology to get as close to the quantification threshold as possible so as to satisfy Statoil’s mandatory measurement levels,” Åsheim explains.
“Molab is able to supply the chemical information which satisfies these requirements. Our campaigns are conducted twice a year, and our measurements form the basis for charting the environmental effects of releasing produced water and for reports to the authorities,” he says.
SINTEF subsidiary Molab is one of Norway’s largest industrial laboratory companies and is a subsidiary of SINTEF. 70 persons work at the head office at Mo i Rana, and in branches in Oslo, Glomfjord and Porsgrunn. Molab’s department in Porsgrunn was established in 2008, and supplies chemical information based on applied non-organic analytical chemistry to a number of process industry companies and workshop industry companies in Grenland and the whole of Norway.
The Grenland branch specialises in R&D support. This is why Molab has established laboratories with advanced instrumental analysis techniques in the Research Park, offering chemical analysis of different materials and substances. The branch currently has eight employees but is about to take on a further worker. Their areas of specialisation are
Supplement “We are a supplement to the industrial companies’ own chemical activities. Our customers typically have their own chemistry department, and use us for special tasks. We have created a laboratory which works with complementary techniques. We offer customers expertise and analysis services in order to provide the best possible chemical information under given problems and conditions,” he says.
Molab’s activities are able to simplify a customer’s focus factors, for example when developing a process. The customer has a clear goal in process development. To achieve that goal it must know the starting point, the midway position and the result achieved. Once this has been determined, the process can be further adjusted. Molab helps provide the answers where chemical analyses are needed.
Molab’s state-of-the-art technology and knowledgeable experts are one of the important factors which make Herøya Industripark a good pilot arena. R&D support is a central part of Molab’s service at Grenland.