OiW – Oil in Water


During the production of oil and gas, large amounts of water are also produced. One of the biggest environmental problems in offshore oil and gas production is the safe disposal of this produced water. In most fields, the water is treated and then discharged to the sea. It is estimated that more than 300 Mm3 is discharged annually into the North Sea. Discharged water must comply with strict environmental regulations. The current measurement methods do not take the complexity of the water composition into account and thus lead to great inaccuracy in the measurement.


The OiW project develops an innovative technology for measuring oil-in-water (both droplets and dissolved) using advanced 3D fluorescence spectroscopy (a method using light to capture data) combined with advanced data processing.

The measurement technology is then integrated into a control solution for use in a hydrocyclone-based process to extract the excess oil from the produced water.

The goal is an advanced online sensor combined with a control algorithm for optimizing water treatment technologies. We use the water’s fluorescence topography and use a combination of optical methods and advanced data analysis to reduce the water’s environmental impact.


Potentially, the project can contribute to a 10-20 times improvement in the accuracy of the measurement of the water quality produced in connection with oil and gas production.

Problem owner

TotalEnergies Danmark A/S

Problem solvers

Center for Olie og Gas – DTU

Aalborg Universitet

Københavns Universitet

SHUTE Sensing Solutions A/S

Ibsen Photonics

Project timeline

PHASE 1: Conceptualisation
PHASE 2: Development and testing
PHASE 3: Demonstration and validation
PHASE 4: Commercialisation

Financed by


Start: January 2021

End: December 2024

Total budget: DKK 6.065.249

Contact person

Mette Straarup Jespersen

Mette Straarup Jespersen
Tlf: +45 4214 9170