Salinity expressed as total dissolved solids (TDS), is the most challenging parameter in bioremediation of produced water which may inhibit the microbial activities and cause sedimentation problems. The present study explores the feasibility of using walnut shell as an inexpensive and accessible adsorbent-carrier for the immobilization of isolated halophilic microorganisms for treatment of synthetic oilfield produced water. The moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) was examined with influent chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations from 900 to 3600 mg L-1, TDS concentrations from 35,000-200,000 mg L-1, and cycle times from 24 to 72 h. Comparison of the MBBR with the conventional sequencing batch reactor (SBR) indicated that both systems operated at lower influent COD and TDS concentrations satisfactorily; but at higher TDSs (above 150,000 mg L-1) the MBBR was more resistant to the shocks of toxicity (salinity) and organic load relative to the SBR. Also, the effluent turbidity was lower and the free sludge settling property was more favorable in the MBBR with average sludge volume index (SVI) of 38.8 mL g-1 compared to the SBR with SVI of 98.09 mL g-1. Microbial identification confirmed the presence of eight dominant halophilic species which were hydrocarbon degraders and/or denitrifiers.