Eni is committed to the sustainable management of water resources in the Val d’Agri, which includes the Viggiano Blue Water project (the relevant authorisation process is already underway), representing an innovative solution for the regeneration and reuse of production water. Thanks to Eni Rewind technology, developed in conjunction with Eni Research, this water is treated and recovered, whilst guaranteeing a low environmental impact. The so-called production water found in fields, is extracted together with hydrocarbons, and is generally characterised by high salinity levels, due to its contact over geological time with rocks. Currently, most of the production water at the Val d’Agri Oil Centre is managed in the processes separating the crude oil. A portion is then reintroduced into the oilfield, in compliance with the limits authorised by the relevant authorities, whereas the remaining surplus is sent for disposal, as non-hazardous waste and via tankers to appropriate external facilities. From an environmental sustainability perspective, the project envisages a plant being built in an area adjacent to the Val d’Agri Oil Centre, which will apply Blue Water technology, thus recovering the water resource and reusing it in the industrial cycles, with a consequent significant reduction in water withdrawals.
Blue Water technology
Blue Water technology is based on consolidated treatment cycles that are similar to the more traditional purification plants. The initial cycle eliminates traces of hydrocarbons; the second, comprising a plant similar to those used to desalinate seawater, eliminates the dissolved salts. The water that is recovered represents around 97% of the treated water, and comprises industrial water and demineralised water, both of which can be fully reutilised within the Val d’Agri Oil Centre production system. Thanks to Viggiano Blue Water, in addition to avoiding water withdrawals for industrial use, the company will also limit the disposal of extraction water, which is currently managed as waste and sent to third-party facilities, with a consequent reduction in the carbon footprint (GHG emissions) due to their transportation using heavy vehicles.
Mitigating the landscape impact
The project fits perfectly within the landscape and environmental context of Viggiano, thanks to a specific study conducted together with local Entities, so as to limit the visual impact and allow for the woodland and undergrowth to regenerate, with the planting of native tree species. Besides representing a significant step forward in the context of environmental sustainability for the Val d’Agri Oil Centre industrial activities, the Viggiano Blue Water plant will also contribute to providing employment, both during the construction and operational phases, in terms of direct and indirect resources.
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