There is a growing need for produced water treatment technologies in Southeast Asia, according to a new analysis of the market by Frost & Sullivan.

This is because of the rising number of mature oil fields in the region. While new oil and gas wells generate minimum water cut (ratio of water to the overall volume of liquids produced), wells that are 20 to 30 years old have water cuts in the range of 80 percent to 90 percent, the research firm explained.

As a result, there is an intensified focus in Southeast Asia on produced water treatment technologies that are both cost-efficient and effective.

Adoption is being held back to some extent by the prohibitive costs of produced water treatment systems. Costs vary depending on the location, method of treatment, volume of produced water, amount of contaminants present in the water and location of the equipment.

Suppliers are engaged in continuous R&D to develop better treatment methods and equipment. This process could be made easier with more collaboration, Frost & Sullivan said.

"There is a need for oil field operators to reach out to suppliers and manufacturers to arrive at more viable and cost-effective methods of produced water treatment and reuse/recycle," commented research associate Harpreet Kaur.

"This could eventually create a platform for new technologies to be launched and improved upon," she added.

The market for produced water treatment in Southeast Asia generated revenues of $275.0 million in 2013 and is estimated to reach $357.7 million in 2018, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4 percent.

Growth areas include enhanced oil recovery and produced water reinjection, with treated produced water adding value to the oil field by increasing oil recovery through the reinjection process.

Government regulation is also driving the market, prompting oil and gas operators to invest in advanced treatment technologies. These initiatives, alongside water conservation strategies in Southeast Asia, are expected to give a significant boost to the region's produced water treatment market, Frost & Sullivan concluded.