The presentation considers original end of field life design constraints on crude oil separators and in a logical progression illustrates how hidden capacity in a separator can be identified and used to upgrade the separator, both by maximizing the use of available volume in the separator and also by the use of upgraded process internals.
The presentation also describes the methods available for installing upgraded internals covering clamp type internals through to full vessel modification including fitting of new process nozzles.
Aspects including mechanical design evaluation, HSE compliance requirements and chemical treatment considerations are also covered.
Summary and Conclusions
For crude oil separators, associated equipment and systems the late life field operation design case (usually maximum produced water production) is constrained by the economics of initial facility development budgets
Once this design point is reached achieving both produced water flow rate and quality (oil-in-water content) requires upgrade of the separators and equipment
Additionally, tie-ins of satellite fields can require upgrade of crude oil separators and associated equipment and systems
This presentation has demonstrated a logical approach to investigating available capacity once original design point has been reached
Whilst this presentation has focused on crude oil separator upgrades for handling late life field production it must be remembered that such upgrades have to take a holistic perspective and consider the complete crude oil, hydrocarbon gas and produced water processing system requirements. It is only by considering the complete production facilities that successful late field life production can be correctly designed for resulting in the maximising of hydrocarbon production and recovery.
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