CETCO Oilfield Services, a pioneer in the treatment of oilfield wastewater, has developed NEMOH™, a nomadic environmental media operated host that acts as a hosting treatment vessel for processing and retaining polluted fluids in a subsea environment.

CETCO Oilfield Services’ first venture into the subsea sector, NEMOH is an exciting new technology that can treat and retain chemically contaminated water without the need for a topside facility. The technology, described by CETCO as an equalised underwater media vessel, is capable of operating at depths of up to 6,000ft.

Developed in response to an operation where project delays meant there were no topside facilities available, this ground-breaking technology is flexible and portable, and is proving very effective as a temporary installation which can operate at varying sea levels and in all types of marine environments including fresh, salt or brackish water.

The advantages of deploying NEMOH as a subsea enhanced water treatment technology are numerous. The treatment of potentially hazardous chemicals including corrosion inhibitors and biocides at subsea level can be more time efficient when compared to traditional topside methods. The technology itself is a medium-sized container that is fitted with a protective cage and lifting frame. Initially operated by topside technicians, following it’s immersion in the water NEMOH is controlled by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

Particularly useful where no permanent topside facility is available, NEMOH is safely landed at the bottom of the ocean and is communicated to via a device known as a ‘hot stab’ into the inlet and connected at the other end of the line to the outlet or pipeline end termination (PLET). To prevent backflow or release of contaminated fluids to the surrounding marine environment the NEMOH equalisation valves are closed and treatment is then able to begin.

The development of NEMOH enables CETCO Oilfield Services to treat various constituents depending on whether the materials need to be oxidised, coalesced or neutralised, since it can be operated with different media types. When the treatment process is complete, NEMOH can either be recovered in a reverse process, disconnected, or be guided by an ROV along the sea bed to another location.

With an ability to be operated either as a stand-alone vessel or in conjunction with a series of vessels, NEMOH allows CETCO Oilfield Services to maximise its capabilities and effectively move into the subsea market.

John Occhipinti, vice president of research and development commented, “We have already achieved considerable success with the implementation of NEMOH for a project in the Gulf of Mexico. The technology itself was developed in direct response to a problem experienced by an operating company and to this end NEMOH is an industry led technology that adds to CETCO’s existing technology portfolio. CETCO Oilfield Services’ commitment to innovation, coupled with the industry’s need to complete ever challenging, cost-effective subsea projects that are focussed on environmentally conscious results, have provided the bedrock for the development and deployment of NEMOH as a viable technological waste products solution.”

He went on to say, “The development of this highly functional piece of subsea technology identifies a niche within the industry which CETCO Oilfield Services is well placed to exploit. As operators face more stringent wastewater regulations and experience greater difficulties in securing topside facilities, NEMOH can provide a fast, efficient and cost-effective answer to these inherent problems faced by the sector on a global scale.”

A wholly owned subsidiary of AMCOL International Corporation, CETCO Oilfield Services is a global leader in the provision of cost-effective, technologically advanced environmental systems designed to treat a variety of oilfield waste streams for the oil and gas industry.