This solution uses laser technology to monitor the produced water on a continuous and automatic basis, replacing today's system of manual sampling to check oil content.
"It equips oil companies better to meet strict environmental standards and achieve more efficient separation," says investment manager Lars Johannes Nordli at Statoil Innovation.
"The wellstream from a reservoir contains a good deal of water, which presents a particular challenge on fields in the tail production phase.
"Automated and continuous measurement makes it possible to detect undesirable levels of oil in this water at an earlier stage."
The Norwegian authorities currently demand that the oil content in produced water must not exceed a monthly average of 40 milligrams per liter.
Statoil aims to have zero harmful discharges to the sea by the end of 2005, which will accord with tougher official requirements from that date.
Government authorities in other countries are also tightening up discharge standards for produced water.
The ProAnalysis system is currently being tested on the Norwegian continental shelf, and will be tried out on Statoil-operated fields during 2004.
A wholly-owned subsidiary, Statoil Innovation is dedicated to commercializing the group's technology and expertise through new start-ups.
It also invests in attractive external companies which can support Statoil's technology strategy.
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