Skip to content

Bechtel’s Next 125

Low Energy Ejector Desalination System


Treating and cleaning produced water for reuse

Produced water is highly saline and often viewed as too challenging and too costly to treat for beneficial reuse. Exploration and production companies recycle as much as they can for upstream operations; however, the volume of produced water generated daily far exceeds the volume required for production. The remaining volumes (more than 15 million barrels a day) is disposed of via permitted Salt Water Disposal wells. With the volume of produced water expected to continue growing by billions of barrels over the coming years, finding an economically viable solution is critical for enabling industry to produce responsibly and sustainably.

To assist our customers in overcoming the challenge with produced water management, Bechtel Engineers developed the patented Low Energy Ejector Desalination System (LEEDS). LEEDS is a thermal desalination process that treats highly saline aqueous streams such as produced water with salinity ranging from 4% to 20%.

A cleaner, more affordable water treatment process

Using a highly efficient ejector, LEEDS can treat produced water and other high salinity wastewater for reuse at a lower overall cost than other solutions on the market, making it a financially viable option for oil and gas producers. LEEDS can also be used in other industries such as mining, nuclear waste water treatment, chip manufacturing or any operation looking to reduce waste stream volumes and recover as much clean water as possible.

Traditional thermal evaporation processes rely on steam or other heat sources as an input to drive evaporation. LEEDS operates without the requirement for an external heat source. This means it is less expensive to build and operate and can be effectively deployed at facilities that do not have available thermal energy (i.e. steam or other waste heat), providing a lower carbon environmental solution.

Water treatment facility

Helping the oil production and water midstream markets

  • Provides access to new sources of clean water
  • Sustainably increases production to meet market demand
  • Reduces the volume of produced water re-injected into wells
  • Reduces costs of produced water treatment per barrel

LEEDS Diagram

Reuse revenue opportunities

LEEDS can transform produced water into four reusable, end-marketable products:

  • Distilled water (re-used in "fit-for-purpose" scenarios such as agriculture and grassland irrigation) ​
  • Fertilizer (agriculture products)​
  • 10-pound brine (multiple industrial applications)
  • Calcium carbonate (de-icing and dust suppression)

Learn more

gloved hand holding water sample

Water reuse: Preserving our most precious resource

Sustainable development and environmental resilience are dependent on access to reliable, safe, and clean water.