Performance Comparison of Control Strategies for Plant-Wide Produced Water Treatment

Leif Hansen, Mads Valentin Bram, Simon Pedersen, Zhenyu Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Offshore produced water treatment (PWT) accounts for cleaning the largest waste stream in the offshore oil and gas industry. If this separation process is not properly executed, large amounts of oil are often directly discharged into the ocean. This work extends two grey-box models of a three-phase gravity separator and a deoiling hydrocyclone, and combines them into a single plant-wide model for testing PWT control solutions in a typical process configuration. In simulations, three known control solutions—proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control, H control, and model predictive control (MPC)—are compared on the combined model to evaluate the separation per-formance. The results of the simulations clearly show what performance metrics each controller excels at, such as valve wear, oil discharge, oil-in-water (OiW) concentration variance, and constraint violations. The work incentivizes future control to be based on operational policy, such as defining boundary constraints and weights on oil discharge, rather than maintaining conventional intermedi-ate performance metrics, such as water level in the separation and pressure drop ratio (PDR) over the hydrocyclone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number418
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Deoiling
  • Grey-box modeling
  • Hydrocyclone
  • Model predictive control
  • Oil and gas
  • Robust control
  • Separation


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