TOPICS OF INTEREST
Addressing the Gaps in Subsea Produced Water Treatment
Operators are looking for ways to better handle water coming from subsea wells, which is typically treated at topside facilities. Subsea separation systems are not equipped to discharge water back into the reservoir, so how do companies close the gaps?
Production Monitoring Gets Smarter With Virtual Meters
Virtual metering technology has been in use for years as a cost-effective means of monitoring production, but what else can it do? How reliable is it as a backup to physical multiphase meters?
Neural Networks Plus CFD Speed Up Simulation of Fluid Flow
High-fidelity 3D engineering simulations are valuable in making decisions, but they can be cost-prohibitive and require significant amounts of time to execute. The integration of deep-learning neural networks with computational fluid dynamics may help accelerate the simulation process.
Smart-Fluid-Processing System Reduces Footprint, Improves Separation Efficiency
Reducing a separation system’s footprint while increasing separation efficiency is demonstrated in an Oklahoma field trial.
The Savvy Separator: Lessons for Installation of Separator Internals
Process design of separation internals is just one step in improving the vessel performance. Just as important are the support design and installation steps. These lessons learned help to guide good off- and on-site planning to minimize separator turnaround.
Greedy Pursuit: Algorithms Show Promise in Measuring Multiphase Flow
“Greedy pursuit” in the realm of algorithms is a good thing. Saudi Aramco studied such algorithms to produce images simulating the flow inside a pipe’s cross section, possibly reducing the need for separator-based multiphase flowmeters.
Savvy Separator: 5 Lessons To Simplify Separator Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting and solving separation problems takes a combination of analytical tools, experience, and a knack for investigation. These 5 lessons provide a starting point for assessment.
Savvy Separator: Oversizing Separators—Too Much of a Good Thing?
Oversizing a separator ensures meeting the life cycle needs of a facility, but are we setting ourselves up for failure in the long run? With peak rates typically being short-lived at best, or at worse, well beyond actual production rates, more weight needs to be given to the tail-end of production.
A Model for Evaluating Inlet Systems to Gas/Liquid Separators
Learn about the guidelines for early stages of projects and a method for evaluating the effect of inlet piping and devices on gas/liquid separator performance and useful tools to evaluate the adequacy of a proposed design. [Note: Updated on 22 May, the article contains a number of corrections.]
Produced-Water Debottlenecking Improves Offshore Production
An operator in the western Gulf of Thailand retrofit two partial-processing water-management systems on mobile-offshore-production-unit platforms for bulk removal and treatment of produced water. Water debottlenecking increased oil production by 80% and reduced the infield transfer volume by 62%. Th
Can Oversized Separators Do More Harm Than Good?
Large separators are often designed to meet the requirements of higher-capacity facilities. But these vessels bring with them consequences on the operating conditions over the full life cycle of a field.
The Savvy Separator: The Code Implications of Retrofitting Separators
This article highlights some of the code and registration issues the Savvy Separator engineer encounters when retrofitting a vessel with internals to improve or restore the process performance of the separator.
Quantifying Oil/Water Separation Performance in Three-Phase Separators—Part 2
Part 2 of this two-part series presents a new methodology for sizing and rating three-phase separators based on quantifying the actual mechanisms and physics that govern separation performance. An example illustrates the calculations needed to achieve the specified outlet fluid qualities.
The Savvy Separator: Physical Processes Behind Oil Droplet Coalescence During Water Treatment
By understanding the factors involved in oil droplet coalescence, the Savvy Separator engineer can assess the operational/chemical factors in the treatment system that are affecting droplet growth and make adjustments to enhance coalescence rates.
Subsea Processing: Asset Life Extension and Stranded Fields Development
Operators are increasingly using existing offshore infrastructure for asset life extension, and developing new marginal stranded fields rather than develop new large greenfields. Subsea processing is an enabling technology in this goal.
Oil-Droplet Removal From Produced Water by Use of Nanoparticles
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) is a promising way to remove dispersed oil from produced water. In this study, the authors investigated the optimal operating conditions for MNPs and the mechanisms of MNP/oil attachments and magnetic separation.
Sinopec Tests Separation Technology at FuLing Shale Site
OriginClear agreed to a sales licensing deal for use of its Electro Water Separation technology at a Sinopec-operated shale gas site.
Scrubber Design Requires a Balance of Criteria vs. Application
A senior process engineer from TechnipFMC discusses the ways in which inadequate design and sizing methodologies can lead to poor scrubber performance.
Quantifying Oil/Water Separation Performance in Three-Phase Separators—Part 1
This first article in a two-part series discusses a new methodology for sizing and rating three-phase separators that is based on quantifying the actual mechanisms and physics that govern performance in typically used equipment.
Savvy Separator: Operational Troubleshooting of Separators
In this tenth article of the series, the author focuses primarily on specific operational elements of troubleshooting rather than the mechanical design of the separator.
Savvy Separator: Taming Tower Carry-Over
Lessons learned in debottlenecking a “dirty” triethylene glycol contactor at the ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company’s LaBarge Black Canyon Facility in Wyoming highlight the results of work performed between 2001 and 2004.
Pressure-Minimization Method for Prediction of Two-Phase-Flow Splitting
Looped lines are used to reduce pressure drop and increase flow capacity, but information on the flow behavior or predictive methods are not available for these systems.
Savvy Separator: Level Design and Control in Gravity Separators
In this eighth articles of the series, level settings and control in gravity separators are addressed.
Clear Plans, Designs Necessary for Effective Three-Phase Separation
Operators must take a more practical and less theoretical approach to the design and construction of three-phase separators, with an honest assessment of their separation needs.
Savvy Separator: Introduction to CFD for Separator Design
Why CFD should be part of your separator design? This goal of this goal is to allay any fears about CFD that you may have as a result of flashbacks to university class and a dizzying array of partial-differential equations.
Savvy Separator: Underperforming Gas Scrubbers: How to Fix Them and How to Avoid Them
The main drivers for sizing gas scrubbers have been performance requirements, process conditions, and project specifications. However, optimizing cost, delivery times, and weight is not the same as improving scrubber performance.
Savvy Separator Series: The Effect of Shear on Produced Water Treatment
The sources and magnitude of shear and the effects on oil droplet size can have significant consequences for downstream separation equipment performance.
Design of a Cyclonic-Jetting and Slurry-Transport System for Separators
Oil and gas wells often produce sand or solids with the well fluids. Despite exclusionary well designs, these solids can cause equipment failure, completion problems, or changes in production. This paper offers a way to remove solids in separators.
Savvy Separator: The Ghosts of Separators Past, Present, and Future
Lessons learned by the members of the SPE Separations Technology Technical Section, representing more than 250 years' experience, are presented so that the same mistakes are not repeated in the future.
Using CFD Modeling To Evaluate Scrubber Inlet Design
Computational fluid dynamics modeling has proven promising for improving scrubber performance.
Separations Technology Technical Section Continues Success and Growth Into 2016
In its fifth year, the Separations Technology Technical Section has grown to more than 1000 members. The new section chair provides his perspective on what the future holds.
Savvy Separator: Scrubber Debottlenecking
An underperforming scrubber that was suffering from too much oil carry-over is described along with options for debottlenecking and improving performance.
Performance Testing of an Inline Electrocoalescer Device With Medium and Heavy Crudes
To support subsea processing of heavy crudes, an inline electrocoalescer was tested for separation of water droplets dispersed in the crude oil.
STTS Continues Webinar Series With CFD in Gas Scrubber Redesign
Learn how different inlet designs affect fluid dynamics and ultimately scrubber performance.
Savvy Separator: The Effect of Inlet Geometries on Flow Distribution
Efficient separation assumes uniform flow, but the reality of inlet geometries can invalidate this assumption, leading to separation problems and loss of separation efficiency.
STTS To Hold Special Session on Gas Scrubber Design at ATCE
"Gas Scrubber Design and Validation for Robust Separation Duty" is the title of a special session planned by the Separations Technology Technical Section.
Savvy Separator: Design of Cyclone Separators: Internals and Liquid Levels
Some internals components affect a separator's gas- and liquid-handling capability because of their effects on the liquid level. In this article, the interdependency of cyclonic inlets, cyclonic mist eliminators, and liquid level is highlighted.
STTS Webinars Focus on Scrubber Designs
The SPE Separation Technology Technical Section (STTS) is presenting a webinar titled “Advances in High Capacity Internals and Performance Boosting With Inline Pre-separation”
Results of the Field Operation of a Distributed-Flux Burner in a Heater Treater in a Northern Canada Heavy Oil Field: Thermal Performance and Firetube Life
This paper presents data from both pilot tests and field tests of a recent burner retrofit of a horizontal heater treater at an oil sands field in northern Canada.
PFC Lecture Series Covers Meter Selection and Applications
The SPE Gulf Coast Section’s Projects, Facilities, and Construction study group presented sessions during its spring lecture series on experts’ discussions of the processes involved in metering measurements.
Effective Scrubber Design Requires Holistic Approach
Jimmie Riesenberg, senior process adviser and separations lead at Chevron, discussed the finer points of a scrubber design in a presentation held by SPE Separations Technology Technical Section.
STTS To Hold Special Session on Gas Scrubber Design at ATCE
The SPE Separations Technology Technical Section (STTS) continues its study of gas scrubbing technology with a special session at the 2015 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition on 28–30 September in Houston.
Separations Technology Technical Section To Hold Webinar on Scrubber Design
The SPE Separations Technology Technical Section (STTS) will hold a three-webinar series on the theme of gas scrubbing technology this year with the first to be held on 3 March.
Optimizing Existing Separation Facilities Maximizes Recovery of Oil
The SPE Separations Technology Technical Section (STTS) hosted a special session titled “Unlocking Hidden Production Potential in Existing and Mature Fields” during the recent ATCE.
Design and Performance Testing of a Subsea Compact Separation System for Deepwater Applications
Because of extremely high internal and external pressures, unconventional separator designs must be used in ultradeepwater applications. A major operator has qualified a number of subsea technologies covering a wide range of operating conditions and fluid properties that encompass its subsea portfol
Changing Dynamics of Inflow Drive Upstream Separator Design
Engineers who design separators often use rules of thumb. While useful, the theoretical guidelines are typically written for downstream separators and are difficult to apply to the changing dynamics of upstream field conditions.
Separations Technology Technical Section Will Hold Special Session at 2014 SPE ATCE
The 2014 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) will take place in Amsterdam. With its aging wells and processing facilities that present specific challenges, Europe is an interesting place for oil and gas production and applied separations technology.
Quantifying Separation Performance Taking Bothamley’s Work to the Next Level
Mark Bothamley's series quantifying separation performance in the August-December 2013 issues represents a significant addition to the literature in two-phase separator design. Ken Arnold proposes additional areas of study to take our knowledge even further.
Electrocoalescence: An Alternative Technology for Separating Emulsions
The growing amount of heavy crude processed worldwide has created additional separation challenges, leading some operators to turn to alternative technologies. In some cases, electrocoalescence has been an effective tool to separate oil from water.
The Science and Technology of Hydrocyclones
A recent webinar focused on hydrocyclones and their application for offshore oil and water separation. The discussion includes fundamental science, practical considerations, implementation and field experience.
Challenges in the Design of Separators
Reliable separation is becoming an enabling technology to help develop remote location resources and more difficult applications, such as heavy oil, produced water, sand disposal, and back-produced fluids in enhanced oil recovery.
Topside Processing Plants Go Compact on FPSOs
The development of compact topside processing plants for floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels is a growing industry trend that can reduce operating and capital expenditures over the life of the vessel, a researcher and scientist said recently.
Separations Technology Technical Section Continues Growth into 2014
The ubiquitous nature of separations in facilities led to the development of the Separations Technology Technical Section (STTS) in 2011. In it's 3rd year, more activities are planned. Should you be a member?
Gas/Liquids Separators—Quantifying Separation Performance—Part 3
In this third article of a three-part series, the results of selected gas/liquid separation case studies/sensitivities are presented to show the effects of key separator selection/sizing decision parameters, fluid properties, and operational parameters.
Gas/Liquids Separators—Quantifying Separation Performance—Part 2
In this second article of a three-part series, methods for improved quantification of operating performances of the gas gravity separation, the mist extraction, and the liquid gravity separation sections of gas/liquid separators are discussed.
Gas/Liquid Separators: Quantifying Separation Performance—Part 1
Many two-phase and three-phase separators in the oil and gas industry continue to underperform. This article explores the weaknesses in different sizing methodologies and proposes manageable approaches to quantifying each.
Webinar Highlights Effects of Foam in Separators
In an SPE webinar, “Foaming in Separators: Handling and Operation,” Wally Georgie, principal consultant at Maxoil Solutions, presented an overview of foam generation and how the design of processes and chemical management can exacerbate its detrimental effects in separators.
A Simplified Mechanistic Model for an Oil/Water Horizontal Pipe Separator
A new methodology for oil/water horizontal pipe separator (HPS) design and performance prediction is developed. Separator diameter is determined on the basis of oil/water flow-pattern prediction. A batch separator model is adopted and modified to predict the separator length for desired quality.
New Method To Estimate Surface-Separator Optimum Operating Pressures
Setting optimal surface separation pressures are crucial for maximizing the surface liquid production from the wellstream feed. Where separator tests are not available, empirical calculations are often used, but with limitations. A method suitable across many conditions is proposed.
Separations Technology Technical Section Gains Momentum
Separations technology-related content has been expanded and made available to SPE members through the efforts of the Separations Technology Technical Section.
Computational Fluid Dynamics-Based Study of an Oilfield Separator—Part II: An Optimum Design
This paper provides details of comprehensive computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) -based studies performed to overcome the separation inefficiencies experienced in a large-scale three-phase separator.
Selected Reading for Facilities Engineers; ATCE Reveals PFC Performance Shortfalls
Recent activities around career planning for facilities engineers led me to a list of "must read" books. The recent ATCE generated two revelations. As an industry, we do a poor job of managing major capital projects, and we do not know how to design separators.
Challenges in Heavy Oil Processing
At the end of the day, when you are working with heavy oil, the question is how to design your system, including both the layout and the functional aspects of various equipment.
Computational Fluid Dynamics-Based Study of an Oilfield Separator—Part I: A Realistic Simulation
A realistic computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of a field three-phase separator has been developed. Further, a useful approach to estimating the particle size distribution in oilfield separators was developed. The predicted separation efficiencies are consistent with oilfield experience.
Importance of Flow Conditioning for Separator Performance
Fluid flows in separation vessels are key to effective performance. The flow distributions are affected by the vessel, the configuration of its internals, and the layout of the upstream piping connecting to the vessel’s inlet nozzle.
Highlights in Projects, Facilities, and Construction
ATCE included expanded content for project, facilities and construction professionals. Panels discussed our performance in managing megaprojects and our challenges in designing separation equipment. Two technical paper sessions were also included.
SPE Launches Separation Technology Technical Session
A Separations Technology Technical Section was recently created to allow SPE members to share knowledge about emerging separations technology and its challenging applications. Interested members are encouraged to join.
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04 June 2019
ITEMS OF NOTE
07 August 2018
20 July 2018
16 February 2018
18 December 2017
28 November 2017