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Oil and gas processing (Onshore)

Oil & gas separation


SEPARATOR:

• Pressure vessel separating well fluids into


gaseous/ vapour and liquid components
Main facilities and operations in oil installation
1)Well
1)Well head & choke
2)Flow
2)Flow lines
3)Manifold
3)Manifold facilities
4)Testing
4)Testing of wells
5)Liquid
5)Liquid and gas separation facilities
6)Oil
6)Oil and gas dehydration system
7)Desalting
7)Desalting
8)Storage
8)Storage
9)Shipment
9)Shipment of products
Main facilities and operations in GGS
-Oil and gas metering
-Instrumentation
Instrumentation and control system
-Maintenance
Maintenance of equipments
-Information
Information & communication system
-Utilities
Utilities e.g. power, water and air
-Office
Office building
-Fire
Fire fighting facilities
-Transportation
Transportation
-
Oil & gas separation
SEPARATORS OF PRODUCING FIELD:

•Oil & gas separator


• Stage separator
• Trap
• Knock out vessel/drum/trap or

liquid knock out


• Flash chamber /vessel/ trap
• Expansion separator /vessel
• Gas scrubber (dry/wet )
• Gas filter ( dry/wet)
• Filter /Separator

Well head and well fluids

Multiphase HC mixture with varying


ABP
compositions and densities
FTHP
ABT ØGas phase
FTHT
ØLiquid phase:
Choke 3.5”/4”
4/5 km. 2 immiscible liquids
API 5L
•Oil
SBHP •Water
FBHP
SBHT
Well manifold

To HP separator
WELL#1 PG NRV

WELL#2
PG NRV
To MP separator
WELL#3
PG NRV
To test separator

HP MP Test
Headers
Block diagram well fluids processing

Well Fluid Gas to GDU/


from header Consumers

Separator
Crude oil to
dehydrator

Produced water to ETP


Utilization of gas and oil

• Gas is used for value added products


-LPG
-C2/C3
-Gas to consumers
•Oil is supplied to refineries for distillation
Classification of Installations
a)For
a)For one or two wells: well head installation (WHI)
b)For
b)For many oil wells: group gathering station (GGS)
c)For
c)For gas wells: gas collecting station (GCS)
d)For
d)For oil storage and shipment : central tank farm (CTF)
e)For
e)For gas shipment : gas compressor plant (GCP)
f)For
f)For gas conditioning: Gas dehydration unit (GDU)
& gas sweetening unit (GSU)
g) For water handling: Effluent treatment plant (ETP)
h)Other
h)Other plants: LPG recovery, C2-C3 unit, CSU etc.
Well connection configuration

Multiphase HC mixture and water flowing


through individual lines (preferred)

WELL
WELL
WELL

WELL WELL
GGS

WELL
WELL WELL WELL
Well connection configuration

Multiphase HC mixture and water flowing


through interconnected lines (not preferred)

WELL WELL WELL

WELL
WELL
GGS

WELL
WELL WELL WELL
Well connection configuration

Multiphase mixture flowing through well pads


and group & test lines to GGS

WELL WELL WELL

WELL
WELL Pad Pad

WELL GGS
WELL
WELL WELL
Well connection configuration
Central Tank Form (CTF) Well
Well Well

Well Well Well Well Well


GGS
Well
Well
Well Well Well
Well
GGS
Well CTF
Well GGS
Well Well
Pump
Typical PFD of GGS
Flare header

BH
Bath heater
KOD Flare

HP MP
To consumers

Scrubber
BH

BH To flare
Test
Heater treater
HP MP Test Oil
HT
Stb.
To ETP Tank Pump
Typical PFD of GCS
Flare header
MeOH or BH
KOD Flare
HP MP Consumers

Scrubber

To flare
Test Cond.
Stb.
HP MP Test Cond.
Stb.
To ETP Tank Pump
Oil & gas separation
WELL FLUIDS:
• Mixture of oil, gas and water / Free gas

• Impurities / Extraneous material


ØNitrogen, CO2, H2S etc.,
ØWater, Paraffin
ØSand, silt etc.,
Oil & gas separation
Quality of separated fluids
 Separated crude oil
 Depending on retention time,
® Free gas content in separated oil = 1.5% to 20%
® Water content of separated Oil = 0.05% to 8%
 Quality improvement possible by chemical,
equipment, techniques and procedures


Oil & gas separation
Quality of separated fluids
 Separated water:
 Depending on retention time,
® Oil content in eff. Water = 0.004% to 2.0%
Special methods and separating techniques can
improve water quality.
Difference in sp.gr. of oil and water less than 0.2

results in limited and incomplete separation.



Oil & gas separation
Quality of separated fluids
Separated Gas:
For a separator with suitable mist extractor,
® Oil content in separated gas = 0.101 to 1.0
gal/mmscf
® In case of gas scrubbers oil content in effluent
gas should be less than 0.1 gal/mmscf.


Oil & gas separation
Instruments for measuring quality of separated
fluids:
Measurement
 Instrument

Oil in separated gas


 Laser liq. Particle spectrometer

Gas in separated oil


 Nucleonic densitometer

Water in separated oil


 BS&W monitor

Oil in effluent water


 Ultraviolet absorption unit/

Solvent extraction/


Oil & gas separation
Functions of separators

Primary functions Secondary functions


1. Removal of oil from gas 1. Maintain optimum
pressure
2. Removal of gas from oil
2. Maintain liquid seal
3. Removal of oil from water
Oil & gas separation
Process of separation:

® Separation of bulk liquid from gas


® Reduction in gas velocity to allow liquids to drop out
® Scrubbing of the gas
® Retaining liquids long enough for free gas
separation
® Controlling and maintaining gas oil interface.
® Removal of all products from their respective out
lets.
®
Oil & gas separation
Classification of separators

Configuration Application Function Principle of Operating


primary sep. pressure

2-phase
3-phase Low pr. Sep.
Vertical (10 - 225psi)
Horizontal Test sep.
Med. Pr. Sep.
Spherical Prodn. Sep.
(225 - 750 psi)
L.T.S.
High pr. Sep.
Elevated sep.
(750 - 1500 psi
Stage sep.
Metering sep. Gravity sep.
Foam sep. Impingement/
coalescence sep.
centrifugal sep.
Oil & gas separation
 Stage separation of oil and gas:
® Series of separators operating at sequentially
reduced pressures.
® Liquid is discharged from high pressure separator
into the next lower pressure separator
® Aims at maximum recovery of liquid hydrocarbon
and maximum stabilization of separated fluids.
® Economics limits the no. of stages of separation to
3 to 4
®

Oil & gas separation
Stabilization of crude oil :

® Operation of separator under vacuum / at high temp.


® Liquid discharged completely stabilized
® Liquid recovery comparable to that of 4-6 stage
separation
® Results in increased profit for highly volatile liquids
® Initial cost of stabilizer less than initial cost of
multiple stage oil and gas separators.
®
Separators
Benefits of separation

® Separated gas, crude oil and produced water


can be processed easily at low cost
® Removal of water helps in reducing damage
due to corrosion
® Less costly MOC can be used if water is
removed
® Less energy is required to move single
phases
SEPARATION

Depends on following factors:

•Pressure
•Temperature
•Gas Oil Ratio (GOR)
•Flow rate
•Fluid properties like density, viscosity etc.
Oil & gas separation

Principles of separation of “Oil from gas”


® Density difference
® Impingement
® Change of flow direction
® Change of flow velocity
® Centrifugal force
® Coalescence
® Filtering
Oil & gas separation

 Principles of separation of “Gas from oil


® Settling
® Agitation
® Baffling
® Heat
® Chemicals

PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION:
Based on one or more of the following:
Removal of Oil from Gas Removal of Gas from Oil
Gravity Separation Settling
Impingement Agitation
Change of flow direction Baffling
Change of flow velocity Heat
Filtering Chemicals
Coalescence
Centrifugal
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (OIL FROM GAS) :

Gravity Separation

Diff. Liquid phases

Diff. Densities

Diff. momentum
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (OIL FROM GAS) :
Gravity Separation:
Terminal / Free settling
velocity of droplet

Max. allowable gas velocity

Vt =  [4 g Dp ( l -  g) / 3  g C’]
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (OIL FROM GAS) :

Impingement :

If a flowing stream of of gas containing liquid


mist is impinged against a surface, the liquid
mist may adhere to and coalesce on the surface.
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (OIL
OIL FROM
FROMGAS
GAS):

Change of flow direction:

§Change in flow direction: Change in inertia


§Gas assumes change in direction readily
§Liquid gets retarded and flow back
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (OIL
OIL FROM
FROMGAS
GAS): :

Change of flow velocity:

§Change in flow velocity: Change in inertia


§Increase / decrease in velocity: High inertia
liquid moves away from gas
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (OIL
OIL FROM
FROMGAS
GAS): :

Filtering :

§Porous filters are effective to remove liquid mist.


§Uses the principles of impingement, change in
direction, change in velocity and coalescence.
PRINCIPLES
PRINCIPLESOF
OFSEPARATION
SEPARATIONOIL
(OIL
: FROM
FROMGAS
GAS): :

Coalescing
Coalescing of small droplets (mist/fog)

Formation of large droplets

Settling by gravity
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (OIL
OIL FROM
FROMGAS
GAS):
:

Centrifugal force:

§Fluids allowed to flow in circular motion at high


velocity.
§Centrifugal force throws liquid mist outward
against the walls of the vessel.
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (GAS FROM OIL ):

Settling :

§Non solution gas separate on adequate


retention time
§Optimum removal of gas – if body of oil is thin
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (GAS FROM OIL ):

Agitation/Baffling:
§Controlled agitation helps removing non
solution gas
§Disperses oil in such a manner that gas readily
escapes
§Allows gas bubbles coalesce and separate
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (GAS FROM OIL ):

Heat :

§Hydraulically retained gas releases on


reduction of surface tension or viscosity
§Heat reduces surface tension and viscosity
of oil.
§
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (GAS
GAS FROM
FROMOIL
OIL:):

Chemical :

§Hydraulically retained gas releases on reduction


of surface tension or viscosity
§Certain chemicals can reduce surface tension
and foaming tendency of oil.
§
PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION (GAS
GAS FROM
FROMOIL
OIL:):

Centrifugal force :

§Heavier oil is thrown outward against wall of


vortex retainer and gas occupies inner portion.
§Properly designed vortex allow gas to ascend
and liquid to flow downward
§
CLASSIFICATION OF SEPARATORS:
SEPARATORS
1.Two phase separator
➦Separation of liquid (oil + water) and gas

2.Three phase separator


➦Separation of liquid and gas
➦Separation of water and oil
MAIN SECTIONS/COMPONENTS
OF A SEPARATOR

HORIZONTAL SEPARATOR

1.Primary separating Two Phase Inlet Gas Outlet


Mesh Pad

section A B
C

2.Secondary or gravity D
Liquid Outlet
separating section
3.Coalescing section Gas Outlet
4.Sump or liquid section VERTICAL SEPARATOR

Mesh
Pad
Two phase
Inlet
A B

A – Primary Separation D
B – Gravity Settling
C – Coalescing
D – Liquid Collecting
Liquid Outlet
Oil & gas separation

 Components of oil and gas separators:


® Primary separation device and /or section
® Secondary gravity settling section
® Mist extractor
® Gas out let
® Liquid settling section

®
®
Oil & gas separation
Components of oil and gas separators:

® Oil out let


® Water out let
® Vortex breakers
® Back pressure control valve
® Level control valves
® Pressure relief valves
®
Oil & gas separation
 Essential features of separators:
® Inlet baffle / Impingement baffle / divertor
® Adequate liquid capacity to handle liquid
surges
® Adequate vessel diameter and height for
vapor disengagement
® Internal baffle / defoaming plates
® Demister pad / mist eliminator

MAIN SECTIONS/COMPONENTS OF A
SEPARATOR

1.Primary separating section


•Separate bulk portion
Inlet Diverter

Vane type
Mist Extractor
of free liquid from inlet
Vapor
stream
Outlet

D
v
Two phase
Inlet
Downc ••Inlet
Inlet diverter
diverter //
Inlet
Inlet baffle
baffle //
omer

Impingement
Impingement
baffle
baffle
Liq. Outlet
MAIN SECTIONS/COMPONENTS OF A
SEPARATOR

2.Secondary or gravity separating section


•Settling section
•Reduced turbulence
•Retention time

••Straightening
Straightening vanes/
vanes/
Settling
Settling vanes
vanes
••Defoaming
Defoaming plates
plates
MAIN SECTIONS/COMPONENTS OF A
SEPARATOR
3.Coalescing section
•Coalescer or mist
extractor/demister pad
•Interwoven mesh
•Gets plugged very easily with
heavier hydrocarbons or
deposits
•Requires frequent cleaning
Knitted
Knitted wire
wire mesh
mesh type
type
MAIN SECTIONS/COMPONENTS OF A
SEPARATOR
3.Coalescing section
•Coalescer or mist
extractor/ demister pad
•Does not require
frequent cleaning
•Better suited to crudes
having high wax and
deposition tendency

Vane
Vane type
type
MAIN SECTIONS/COMPONENTS OF A
SEPARATOR

4.Sump / Liquid Collection Section


•Receiver for all liquid separated from
well fluid in first 3 sections
•Minimum level required for liquid
controls
•Requirement of surge volume for
degassing or slug removal

Vortex
Vortex breaker
breaker
SEPARATOR CONFIGURATION:
1.Vertical separator
2.Horizontal separator
3.Spherical separator
4.Centrifugal separator
5.Compact Separators/Hydro-cyclones

•Vertical and Horizontal type separators are


the most common in the oil industry
SEPARATOR CONFIGURATION:

1.Vertical Separator (Advantages)


•Low to medium GOR streams
•When relatively large liquid
slugs are expected
•Incidence of sand, paraffin, wax
•Limited plot space
•Ease of level control is desired
•Full diameter for gas & liq. flow
Vertical separators
® Disadvantages
®
 - Larger diameter for given gas capacity
 - More difficult to skid mount and ship
 - More difficult to reach and service top

 mounted devices

SEPARATOR CONFIGURATION:

2.Horizontal Separator (Advantages)

•High to medium GOR streams


•Less difficult to skid mount and ship
•Larger volume of gas
•Foaming crude
•3- separation
Horizontal separators
® Disadvantages
®
ü Only part of shell available for gas
 separation
ü Occupies more area
ü Liquid level control is more critical
ü More difficult to clean produced sand


SEPARATOR SELECTION CRITERIA:

Vertical Separator Horizontal Separator


Low to medium GOR Medium to high GOR
When large liquid slugs are For larger volumes of gas
expected
Incidence of sand, paraffin or For foaming crude
wax
Limited plot space For 3- separation
Ease of level control is desired
General guidelines for use

Vertical Horizontal
® Compressor KOD ® Production separator
® Fuel gas KOD ® 3-Phase separation
® Degassing boots ® Reflux drum
® Absorber feed KOD ® Flare KOD
SEPARATOR CONFIGURATION:

3.Spherical Separator
•Most commonly used for
separation of large vol. of
gas from extremely small
vol. of liquid
•High pressure service
where compactness is
desired
•Limited liquid surge
capacity
SEPARATOR CONFIGURATION:

4. Centrifugal/compact separators

- Relatively new type of


separators
- Technology still developing
- Less efficient than other
separators
Centrifugal/compact separators
• Advantages

- Less maintenance is
involved
- Less space is required
- Light in weight
- Less expensive
Centrifugal/compact separators
• Disadvantages

•Not suitable for large liquid slugs


•Efficiency not as good as other types
•Narrow operating flow range for highest
efficiency
Comparison of separators
Separator design guidelines
® Sufficient residence time for both oil
and water is provided to enable
separation of water from oil and oil
from water.
®
® Enough free space is left at the top
for separation of liquid from gas.
SEPARATOR SPECIFICATIONS:

Retention time for liquid-liquid separation

•Retention time determines the liquid


capacity of a separator
•API 12J recommendations are available
for specifying retention time for 2-
phase and 3- separator
SEPARATOR SPECIFICATIONS:

Retention time for liquid-liquid separation

•API 12J allows equal retention times for


both oil and water
•If problems such as foaming, wax, or
slug flows are encountered, additional
retention time may have to be
considered
SEPARATOR SPECIFICATIONS :
Retention time for liquid-liquid separation
API RECOMM. FOR 2- SEPARATION
Oil API Gravity Retention time (min.)
Above 35 1
API RECOMM. FOR 3- SEPARATION
20 – 30 1 to 2
Oil API Gravity Retention time (min.)
10 - 20 2 to 4
Above 35 3 to 5

Below 35, Sep temp > 5 to 10


100 oF

Below 35, Sep temp > 80 10 to 20


oF
Below 35, Sep temp > 60 20 to 30
oF
SIZING CRITERIA FOR A SEPARATOR
Holdup time: T
•Time it takes to reduce the liquid h1
h2
level from NLL to LLL, while h3
maintaining a normal outlet flow h4
HLA
without feed make-up h5
Di
HLL
•Based on the reserve required to
maintain good control and safe h6 NLL

operation of downstream facilities LLL


h7
LLA
h8

T
SIZING CRITERIA FOR A SEPARATOR
Surge time : T
•Time it takes for the liquid level to h1
h2
rise from NLL to maximum or HLL,
h3
while maintaining a normal feed flow h4
HLA
without any outlet flow h5
Di
•Based on requirements to HLL

accumulate liquid as a result of h6 NLL


upstream or downstream variations, LLL
e.g. slugs h7
LLA
•Normally, surge time is taken as ½ h8
of holdup time

T
Design conditions for pressure
vessels
Pressure
Operating Pr (Bar) Design Pr (Bar)
0-10 MOP + 1 Bar

10-35 MOP + 10%

35-70 MOP + 3.5%

> 70 MOP + 5%

MOP : Maximum operating pressure


Design conditions for pressure
vessels

Temperature
® Max design temperature = Max op. temp + 15 oC
® Min Design temperature = Min op. temp – 5 oC
®

Note : Minimum design temperature
must take into account
of depressurization of the
vessel
Sizing of vertical separators
® Calculate settling velocity
®
 vs = k [ (l - v )/ v ]1/2

 l = Liquid density, kg/m3


 v = Vapour density, kg/m3
 vs = settling velocity, m/s
 k = correlating factor
 (Find out from table)

Sizing of vertical separators

® Derate calculated settling velocity by 85%


for design margin.
®
® Calculate internal diameter
 Di= [ 4Q/ vs]1/2

 Where
 Di = Internal dia, mm
 Q = Flow rate, M3/s
® Round the ID to nearest 50 mm.

Sizing of vertical separator T
® Height calculation h1
h2
®
h3
h1= Max 15% of dia. or 400mm
h4
h2= 150mm for mesh pad HLA
h3= max ( 50% of dia. or 600mm) h5
Di
HLL
h4= 400mm +d/2; d: inlet nozzle,mm

h5= calculate based on 1-2 min residence h6 NLL


 time at maximum liquid LLL
h6= calculate based on 4-5 min hold up time
h7
h7= calculate based on 1-2 min residence time
LLA
h8
h8= 300mm for bottom connection, 150mm

 for side connection T


H = h1+ h2 + h3 + h4 + h5 + h6 + h7 + h8
t

Sizing of vertical separators
® Wall thickness
®
 t = {PDi / (2SE-1.2P)}+ C
®
 Di = Internal dia., mm
 t = wall thickness, mm
 P = design pressure, barg
 E = joint efficiency
 (use 1.0 for seamless shells 0.85
otherwise)

S = Max allowable stress, bar

Sizing of vertical separators
® Weight calculation
®
 - Shell weight with ellipsoid head

 Wt= s ( tDiHt+2x1.09xDi2)x10-9

Where
W = Bare vessel weight with ellipsoid head, Kg
t

s = CS density = 7865.55 Kg/m3
Sizing of vertical separators
® Weight calculation
®
 - Shell weight with dished head

 Wt = s( tDiHt+2x0.842xDi2)x10-9

where:
W = bare vessel weight with dished head,
t
Kg
 s= CS density = 7865.55 Kg/m3
Sizing of vertical separators
® Weight calculation
®

- Weight of the vessel can also be calculated


from graph based on thickness, length and


diameter.


Nozzle sizing of separators
Inlet nozzle

® Size based on normal volumetric flow + 10%


® Limit inlet velocity to 7-13 m/s
® Round nozzle diameter to nearest standard size

Gas outlet

® Size based on normal flow arte


® Limit velocity to 15-30 m/s
®
Liquid outlet
® Normal flow rate + 10%
® Limit velocity to 1-3 m/s for HC
 2-4 M/S for water

SEPARATOR DESIGN : Qg - Gas flow rate at Pr.& T – m3/s
Horizontal 2- Separator
Ql- Tot. liq. Flow rate - m3/s
Vs- settling velocity - m/s
•Calculate settling velocity Vs D - Vessel Dia. -m
•Vessel diameter required for droplet separation D1= L/D – Vessel design ratio
 Qg/ .Vs.F.(L/D) F - Security factor (0.85)
•Vessel
Vessel dia. required for sufficient liquid residence
time D2= 3 16Qltres /3 .(L/D)
16Q
tres – liquid residence time -s
•Select max. of D1 or D2.

Three phase separation
® Types of separators
® Vertical three phase separator
® Horizontal 3 phase separator
® Inter-phase control with weir
® Inter-phase control with boot
®
Design guidelines for 3-ph separator
® Settling time for separation of oil from
water and water from oil is calculated
based on:
® minimum particle size
® flow rates
® density difference

® fluid viscosities.

®
SEPARATOR DESIGN :
Horizontal 3- Separator

When heavy liquid


volume is not
substantial ( 15-20%
by wt.)
When almost equal
vol. of light and
heavy liq. are
present
DETERMINATION OF SEPARATION STAGES:
•Usually
Usually carried in more than one stages
Separation of HC mixture into vapor and liquid  in two or more equilibrium phases at successively
•Separation
lower pressures
•Storage
Storage tank is considered as one stage of separation
•In
In actual field practice, 2 or 3 stage separation is considered to be optimal

•More stable stock tank liquid


•Enhanced liquid recovery
DETERMINATION OF
SEPARATION STAGES:
DETERMINATION OF SEPARATION STAGES :
•TOTAL GOR : Ratio of total cumulative gas recovered
from all stages per bbl of stock tank oil produced
•Total
Total GOR varies with no. of stages for a given crude
•Total
Total GOR is lower for more no. of stages
•When total GOR is lower, more of light fractions
remain in oil, thus increasing oil API gravity, thereby
yielding higher income

Total GOR, scf/bsto


SEPARATOR SPECIFICATIONS:
Separator efficiency
Liquid carryover in gas

•With mesh type ME, efficiency of 98-99% with droplet size smaller than 100

Gas content in oil

•Generally < 2 – 5 % by volume

Oil content in water

•<
< 300 – 500 mg/l due to environmental restrictions
SEPARATOR SPECIFICATIONS:
Liquid levels
Oil level
•Max oil level < 0.65 x ID
•Normal
Normal oil level = 0.5 x ID, or 1 min. retention time between max. and normal oil level
•Low
Low oil level = 0.1 x ID, or 12” from bottom, or safe height from normal water level to prevent water carry-
through; whichever is greater

Water level
•Height
Height corresponding to water retention time (1 to 2 min. normally), or 12”; whichever is greater
PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE OF SEPARATORS :

Regular checks should include:


•Daily •Periodically
•Check liquid levels •Lubricate valves
•Check pressures •Clean gauge columns
and temperatures •Check drum valves
•Check level control valves
•Replace broken gauge glasses and
pressure gauges whenever reqd.
•Yearly •Check back pressure controls
•Check pressure
relief valves
Oil & gas separation
 Sizes and Capacities :
® Efficiency of separators(accepted norms):

® Liquid carry over of 10  droplet size in

gas < 0.1 gal/ mmscf.

® Gas carried through oil - 2 to 5% by volume

® Oil content of effluent water < 300 - 500 mg/l


®

Oil & gas separation
 Sizes and Capacities :
® Recommended retention time:

Oil gravity Retention time
 oAPI (min.)
2-Phase > 35 1
Separators 20-30 1-2
 10-20 2-4

3-Phase >35 3-5


separators Below35

100+o F 5-10

80+o F 10-20
 60+o F 20-30
Oil & gas separation
Sizes and Capacities :

® Liquid levels
®
® Maximum oil level : < 0.65 I.D.
®
® Normal oil level : 0.5 I.D. or 1 min.
 retention time
 between max.
 and normal liq.
 Level
® Low oil level : 0.1 I.D. or 12”
 from bottom
®
® Water/ inter face level : Water retention
 time of 1-2
Oil & gas separation
Sizes and Capacities :

® Design data required:


® Separator operating temperature and
pressure
® Gas : Flow rate, Sp. Gr., acid gas content
® Oil : Flow rate, Sp. Gr., viscosity,
® Water : Flow rate, Sp. Gr., viscosity,
corrosion and scaling tendencies.

Oil & gas separation
Sizes and Capacities :
• Design data required:
–Water : Flow rate, Sp. Gr., viscosity, corrosion and scaling
tendencies.
–Impurities : Quantities and description of deposits and scales
–Vessel : Type, Pr. Rating, corrosion allowance, connections
and coatings.
–Accessories: Codes to be followed, safety devices, and
instrumentation desired.
Oil & gas separation
 Gas capacity
® Based on max. allowable gas velocity
® Max. allowable vap. Velocity (Vs)
 (Vs) = K (  L -  V /  V )

 Where K=  4gDp / 3Cd



Oil & gas separation

 Oil capacity
® Calculation based on retention time of the
liquid in the vessel sufficient to obtain
equilibrium between liquid and gas.
® Liquid settling volume (W)
 W = VL (t x 1440)
 Where VL = Liquid capacity, bbl/d
 t = retention time, min.

Oil & gas separation

Design considerations:

® Sized for maximum flow rates


® Should take care of :
ü Heads/ slugs and pumping requirements
ü Pumping , gas lift and naturally flowing
wells .
®

Oil & gas separation
Capacity of vertical and horizontal

separators:
® Nomographs/Curves available
® To size the separator
® To determine the volume of fluid for a
given separator
®
• Suitable for preliminary sizing
®

Oil & gas separation
Capacity of vertical and horizontal

separators:
® Gas capacity : Does not vary directly with a
change in shell length.
® The gas capacity of a horizontal separator is
proportional to its length.
® The liquid capacities depend on the liquid
retained in the settling section of the
separators.
Oil & gas separation
 Selection criteria of separators:
® Vertical separator applications
® Well fluids having low GOR.
® Well fluids having sand, etc.,
® Where limitation of space exits
® Slug flow from wells
® Down stream and upstream equipment.
®

Oil & gas separation
Selection criteria of separators:

® Horizontal separator applications


® Separation of water from oil
® Foaming crude oils
® Well fluids with high GOR
® Wells with relatively uniform flow
® Skid mounted or trailer mounted
® Stacking of multiple units.
Oil & gas separation
Selection criteria of separators:

® Spherical oil and gas separator applications


® Well fluids having high GOR and constant
flow rate
® Installations where both vertical and
horizontal space/height limitations exist.
® As gas scrubbers down stream of process
units.
®

Oil & gas separation
 Controls of separators:
® Liquid level controllers for gas/ oil and
oil/water interfaces.
® Gas back pressure control valves


Oil & gas separation
Valves of separators:

® Oil discharge control valve


® Water discharge control valve
® Drain valves
® Block valves
® Pressure relief valves
® Valves of sight glasses
®

Oil & gas separation
Accessories of separators:

® Pressure guages
® Thermometers
® Pressure reducing regulators
® Level sight glasses
® Safety head with rupture disk
® Piping and tubing
®

Oil & gas separation
 Safety features in separators:
® High and low liquid level controls
® High and low pressure controls
® High and low temperature controls
® Safety relief valves
® Rupture disks
®


Oil & gas separation
 Problems in oil and gas separation:
® Foaming of crude oil
® Encasing of gas in thin film of oil
® Crudes that are likely to foam
® crudes with oAPI < 40
® Operating temp < 160 0 F
® Crude viscosity > 50 cP

®
Oil & gas separation
 Problems in separation:
® Foaming of crude oil
® Effects of foaming
® Reduces the capacities of oil
and gas separators
® Carry over of oil in gas
® Control of liquid levels

Oil & gas separation
Problems in separation:

® Foam management
® Addition of foam depressants
® Special designs for handling foaming
crude
®

®
Oil & gas separation
 Problems in separation:
Paraffin

® Reduces efficiency of separators


® Can be removed by steam / solvents
® Can be prevented by coating
®

®
Oil & gas separation
 Problems in separation:
Sand / silt / mud etc.,

® Reduces capacities of separators


® Sand removal by periodic draining
® Salt removal by mixing crude with water
and draining the water.
®

®
Oil & gas separation
 Problems in separation:
Corrosion

® Cause early failure of equipment


® Most corrosive components in gases are
CO2 and H2S.

®
Oil & gas separation
Operation and maintenance:

® Periodic inspection
® Installation of safety devices
® Safety heads / rupture disks
® Mist extractors
® Hydrate inhibition
® Corrosive inhibition
® paraffin controls


Oil & gas separation
 Operation and maintenance in oil and gas
separation:
® High capacity operations
® Pressure shock loads
® Throttling of discharge liquids
® Pressure guages
® Guage cocks and glasses
® Cleaning of vessels
®

®
Oil & gas separation

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE OF SEPARATORS

 Daily
•Check liquid levels
• Check pressure & temperatures
• Replace broken guage glasses & pressure guages

 Periodically
•Lubricate valves
• Clean guage columns
• Check level control valves
•Check back pressure valves

€Yearly
•Check pressure relief valves
Oil & gas separation
TROUBLE SHOOTING
LOW LIQUID LEVEL

•Fluid dump valve opening too wide or trim


cut out
•Drain valve opening or leaking
•No fluid entering
Oil & gas separation
TROUBLESHOOTING

HIGH LIQUID LEVEL

•Fluid control dump valve closed or plugged


•Block valve around dump valve closed
•Inlet valve to next vessel closed
•Separator overloaded
Oil & gas separation
TROUBLE SHOOTING
LOW PRESSURE IN SEPARATOR

• Back pressure control valve not working


•Leaking safety relief valve
•Inlet valve closed
Oil & gas separation
TROUBLE SHOOTING
HIGH PRESSURE IN SEPARATOR

• Back pressure control valve not working


• Separator downstream valve closed
• Plugged mist extractor
Oil & gas separation
TROUBLE SHOOTING
ALL THE OIL GOING OUT OF GAS LINE

• Dump valve not open/partially open


• Blocked valve closed in piping to tank
• Separator or piping plugged
Oil & gas separation
TROUBLE SHOOTING
MIST GOING OUT OF GAS LINE

• Vessel too small


• Plugged mist extractor
• High liquid level
• Foaming problem
Oil & gas separation
TROUBLE SHOOTING
FREE GAS GOING OUT OF
OIL/WATER VALVE

• Too low level in separator


• Dump valve not seating
•Block valve around dump valve passing
Oil & gas separation
TROUBLE SHOOTING
EXCESS GAS GOING TO TANK WITH OIL

• Less retention time


• Foaming oil
• Too much pressure drop from separator to tank
Oil & gas separation
TROUBLE SHOOTING
OIL/CONDENSATE & WATER NOT
SEPARATING IN 3 PHASE SEPARATOR

• Paraffin problem hampering water from being free


• Not enough retention time
• Interface level control not working properly
• Leak in adjustable weir
• Adjustable weir height to be adjusted
Oil & gas separation

TROUBLE SHOOTING
DIAPHRAGM OPER. DUMP
VALVE NOT OPERATING
• Pilot failure
• Supply gas failure
• Out of adjustment
• Broken valve stem
• Plugged tubing
• Ruptured diaphragm
• Leak in line from pilot to valve