Heavy Oil Production

Separation Systems

making it economically viable. emulsion breaking and sand removal. New separation technologies are key to optimizing process plant design and thus the whole heavy oil project. Marit Hommedal . one of the most important being the design of the process plant. At FMC we provide these technologies: enhanced liquidliquid separation. Photo: Statoil. highly efficient degassing.Heavy Oil Production Economical production of heavy and high viscosity oil represents a major challenge for the oil industry. The economic feasibility of heavy oil projects is determined by numerous factors.

When down hole submersible pumps are used. which has a negative effect on oil recovery. a high rate of chemicals injection and heat input is required. The equipment can be combined to suit all conditions and separation requirements.Benefits Efficient systems for water-gas-oil-sand separation will optimize process plant design and make both onshore and offshore heavy oil projects economically viable through:  Enhanced phase separation as the result of higher G-forces generated  Reduced residence times. allowing for lower energy consumption  Emulsion control. Entrainment of gas bubbles in heavy oil can create foamed oil emulsions with increased viscosity (mousse). stable emulsions may be formed. allowing for a reduction in chemicals consumption  Improved oil and water quality  Reinjection of produced water into the reservoir Challenges for heavy oil production Several factors complicate the production process of heavy oil and have an impact on the design of the process plant. The presence of inorganic solids together with surface-active materials enhances the stability of emulsions. Heavy oil production is typically associated with solids control and handling challenges. The use of water as the continuous phase or injection of steam into the reservoir to improve the heavy oil flow assurance requires significant amounts of water but also additional facilities for water handling and steam generation and transportation. To treat these extra-tight oil-water emulsions. allowing for a reduction in footprint and the weight of the plant  Reduced temperatures. Key characteristics: Ultra-compact separation  Effective de-bottlenecking to increase production capacity for existing processes  Compact separation skids for new-build production systems  Higher G-forces can be generated so that greater separation efficiency can be achieved ­ Unlocking value through new production and separation technology . Separation Systems  The separation company major oil companies go to with their most challenging projects  Maximum return on investment through extensive experience and know-how  The only separation company with a proven track record with inline separation equipment  The leading company in subsea separation  Develops out-of-the-box solutions for the separation challenges of tomorrow Our equipment At Separation Systems we have developed a line of highly efficient compact equipment based on cyclonic ­ technology that covers all aspects of primary separation. The presence of gas-oil emulsions reduces the efficiency of the processing and pumping equipment.

Lack of deck space made the installation of a conventional separator impractical. a compact InLine DeGasser was used. and enhance liquid-liquid separation. It is a very compact centrifugal inline device ­ and is therefore particularly attractive for new heavy oil topside and subsea systems as well as for debottlenecking and upgrading existing production facilities. For new build installations. Our high-efficiency cyclonic internals are well proven in heavy oil duty service and have shown they can overcome some of the problems associated with heavy oil separation: they prevent or eliminate foam. separate gas and reduce or eliminate creation of mousse. Degasser installed on the Jasmine Platform in Thailand . Inline separation systems Our inline separators are based on compact cyclonic technology and we provide inline equipment spanning the entire heavy oil processing flow sheet. Instead. The following inline separation equipment is currently available. InLine DeLiquidiser and InLine PhaseSplitter overlap to some extent. Gas-liquid InLine DeGasser InLine DeLiquidiser InLine DeMister InLine PhaseSplitter InLine DeWaterer InLine ElectroCoalescer Inline HydroCyclone InLine Desander InLine Controls The Jasmine platform Liquid-liquid Solids Controls The operating ranges of the InLine DeGasser. The space available and required boot size / scrubber size can restrict the use of the InLine DeLiquidiser and InLine DeGasser in which case an InLine PhaseSplitter should be used. In retrofit projects it can be used to precondition the feed stream to the existing separation equipment in order to reduce the effects of mousse. the InLine DeGasser is an ideal solution for degassing heavy oil.High-performance internals Inline Heavy Oil DeGassing The InLine DeGasser separates gas from a continuous liquid stream.

It can be installed at the inlet of the production system. . This technology is one of the ­ most important parts of a process when complete oil-water separation is carried out topsides or on the seabed in combination with advanced separation technology. The InLine DeSander is currently qualified at Brazilian oil company Petrobras for installation on the seabed (Marlim field). 1 Kg. ­ Sand extraction Retrofit Liquid/gas stream with sand particles Sand stream Sand free liquid/gas It is easily integrated into existing processes based on either conventional and/or compact separation technology. Compact electrostatic coalescence technology meets the challenges involved in applications with heavy oils and highly emulsifying oil-water mixtures. which removes solids from liquid or multiphase ­ streams. The InLine ElectroCoalescer uses electric fields to promote water-in-oil droplet growth and emulsion breakdown to facilitate effective oil-water separation. 500 Kg. Swirl element & Separation chamber InLine ElectroCoalescer FMC Technologies has successfully added a new inline electrostatic coalescer to its Separation Systems portfolio of InLine Separation Technology. This development has been aimed at the next generation of topside and subsea separation systems.Inline Heavy Oil DeSanding The InLine DeSander is a compact centrifugal inline separator. upstream or downstream of the choke. 499 Kg. Inlet Coalescing chamber Outlet InLine ElectroCoalescer oil gas water Retrofit Applications – Adding InLine ElectroCoalescer enhances both process performance and capacity. upstream and downstream of primary separators. upstream of the hydrocyclones or anywhere in the process where solids separation is required.

it offers an attractive solution for new heavy oil topside and subsea systems as well as for debottlenecking and upgrading existing production facilities. Extensive testing An InLine DeWaterer has been tested extensively with a relative heavy crude oil of approximately 20 API density at a pressure of 60 bar. Main challenges:  Low-energy reservoir. cyclonic liquid-liquid separation Conventional gravity separator Heavy Oil subsea separation – enabling greenfield economic viability Total Pazflor: subsea separation InLine DeWaterer The InLine DeWaterer is a compact centrifugal inline separator. Thanks to its ability to handle up to 30 % - 50 % of gas and water cuts of 50 % and higher. Mediafoto Compact InLine skid-based solutions Oil: ºAPI 19 Liquid: 6. offshore Angola. The three gas-liquid separation and boosting stations at 800 m water depth at Pazflor field supplied by FMC. which removes hydrocarbon liquid from water­ dominated streams. (In the range of 1-2 bars. The InLine DeWaterer demonstrated the capability to reduce an oil content of 20% to below 2. flow lines and umbilicals  Reduced power generation  Lower methanol demand  Cost savings on the FPSO: reduced compression size (no more gas lift) & no requirement for a slug catcher Total Pazflor Photo: Tor Aas-Haug.22 API) and stable emulsion.000 Sm3/hr Outlet OiW < 200 ppm The Integrated InLine System for Brazilian national oil company Petrobras is a skid for produced water degassing and heavy oil removal. .) Subsea processing and separation makes it possible to exploit fields that are normally inaccessible because of deep water. The Integrated InLine system consists of a CDS-Gasunie cyclone. This performance can be achieved at relative low pressure drops. gravity vs. resulting in high dp in flow lines/risers  High water production from year 4 (large amounts of methanol needed to prevent hydrates)  Presence of sand The main cost savings from subsea separation using Pazflor result from:  Fewer risers. free flow not possible  High viscosity oil (17 .000ppm for water removals up to 90%. The design of the Pazflor separation system has passed a rigorous qualification process with Total.Inline Heavy Oil DeWatering Size comparison. InLine DeWaterers ­ and recently optimised Hydrocyclones.000 bbl/day Gas: 5. long step out or heavy oil. thus delivering an oil removal efficiency of above 99%. provide a good example.

and separates the gas from the liquids. the heavy oil is separated from the water using a novel pipe separation design that was licensed and developed in cooperation with Statoil. Test skids The system receives the production stream. Marlim project: subsea processing Defining solutions for produced water and heavy oil handling challenges requires predictions of how certain ­ technologies will perform on the installation. there is never a 100 % guarantee that it will work in a particular installation.000 bbl/d: 70 % water / 30 % oil in 2011 and 90 % water / 10 % oil in 2016 Goal: increasing the processing capacity with no significant revamp on the platforms. However. deepwater field The Petrobras Marlim Project is the world’s first system for deepwater subsea separation of heavy oil and water that includes reinjection of water to boost production in a mature field development. We have the following test skids available: InLine DeWaterer InLine DeSander InLine HydroCyclone Other solutions by Separation Systems Production Improvements  Compact Total Separation Systems  Efficiency Improvement and Troubleshooting Solids Handling Produced Water The InLine.DeGasser. a mixture of oil. while the separated water is pumped back into the reservoir to further increase production. For that reason we provide test skids that can be hooked up to a slipstream of the produced water stream to be treated. First. An indication of the suitability of a certain technology can be obtained from laboratory tests. The separated gas is added back to the oil stream to aid its lifting to the FPU. PhaseSplitter. Petrobras. In this way an accurate indication can be obtained of the efficiency that our technical solution will have in your production plant and you can be assured of success when the equipment is finally installed. Many aspects of the production process affect the final quality of the produced water and these are impossible to replicate completely in a controlled test environment. water and sand. . DeWaterer and DeLiquidiser are patented by Statoil and FMC has exclusive worldwide license to sell this technology.Heavy Oil subsea separation in a mature. gas. DeSander. Oil: ºAPI 21 - 26 Capacity 22. The system also integrates Separation Systems proprietary water treatment and sand handling technologies as part of the subsea separation s ­ ­ ystem.

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