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Chapter 8

Separating and Treating Well Fluids

Review

Review

()

Review

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Chapter 8
Separating and Treating Well Fluids

Separation

Treatment

Metering

Principles and Operation of Production Separators


Gas, oil and water separation was achieved
by the difference in gravity, or weight, of
each fluid.
Production separator () do the same
job, except they are built to handle a
continuous-flow stream and have features to
improve separation efficiency under flow
conditions.

Three general types of separators


Horizontal separator ()
for high-pressure/medium-pressure service
Vertical separator ()
for low-pressure service (generally)
Spherical separator ()
more compact and cheaper
limited separation space and liquid surge
capacity
for low-volume remote platforms

Internal structure of separator

Internal structure of separator

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Separation methods
Stage separation method ()

Low-temperature separation method ()

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1. Stage separation method

Any number of separators may be used in stage separation as long as


stage operates at successively lower pressures.

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2. Low-temperatures separation method

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Separation

Treatment

Metering

Gas treatment

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Process for treating natural gas

Four basic processes:


1.

the gas must be separated from free liquids such as crude


oil, hydrocarbon condensate, water, and entrained solids

2.

the gas must be processed to remove condensable and


recoverable H.C. vapors

3.

the gas must be treated to remove condensable water


vapor, which might cause hydrate () formation

4.

the gas must be treated to remove other undesirable


components, such as hydrogen sulfide or carbon dioxide

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The primary treatments for natural gas (1/2)


1. prevention of hydrate formation
( / )

Heat
Hydrate inhibitor ()
Ammonia, brine, glycol (), methanol ()
2. dehydration ()
Absorption () Liquid
Adsorption () Solid

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The primary treatments for natural gas (2/2)


3. The removal of undesirable components (H2SCO2)
Alkanolamine process ()
It is a continuous-operation liquid process that uses absorption
for the acid-gas removal, with subsequent heat addition to
string the acid-gas component from absorbent solution.

Iron-sponge process
Glycol/amine process
Sulfinol process
Molecular-sieve removal

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Separation

Treatment

Metering

Oil treatment

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Emulsion
Water and oil are immiscible.
These two liquids will form an emulsion only
1. if there is sufficient agitation () to
disperse one liquid as droplets in the other
2. if there is an emulsifying agent (), or
emulsifier, present
Emulsifying agents
asphalt (), resinous substances (),
oil-soluble organic acids ()

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Treatment of emulsion

Gun barrel or wash tank if emulsion is not stable

Stable emulsion will not break down into its components


()
without some form of treating.
Treatment of oil-water or water-oil emulsion
1Heat
2Chemicals
3Electricity
4Combination of these (heater-treater)

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Heater-treater
also called a flow treater or an emulsion
treater.
Heater-treater
apply the effects of Chemicals, heat,
settling, and often electricity

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Separation

Treatment

Metering

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The End of Chapter 7

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