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T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F T U L S A

THE GRADUATE SCHOOL







MODELING AND CONTROL SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT FOR
INTEGRATED THREE-PHASE COMPACT SEPARATORS





by

Carlos Avila






A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Master of Science
in the Discipline of Petroleum Engineering
The Graduate School
The University of Tulsa
2003
MODELING AND CONTROL SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT FOR
INTEGRATED THREE-PHASE COMPACT SEPARATORS
THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
by
Carlos Avila
A THESIS
APPROVED FOR THE DISCIPLINE OF
PETROLEUM ENGINEERING
By Thesis Committee
c ~ Ph.D.!1 ' Co-Chairman
~.,.;. Q~~:f?i~~ ~ - .~,
Ovadia Shoham, Ph.D. Co-Chairman
foou~~D.~ ' Co-Chairman
rlJJ-:D. -: ~ II
"" L~~in~. Ph.D. .~ ' h D . Co-Chairman
, .. I
'Co,,' ffffe~~:D: - ,Member
11
iii
ABSTRACT

Avila, Carlos (Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering)
Modeling And Control Systems Development For Integrated Three-Phase Compact
Separators (152 pp. - Chapter VI)
Directed by Dr. Ram S. Mohan, Dr. Ovadia Shoham, Dr. Shoubo Wang and Dr. Luis
Gomez
(152 words)

An integrated compact separation system consisting of the Gas-Liquid Cylindrical
Cyclone (GLCC
©
) and the Liquid-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (LLCC
©
) in series, using a
gas control valve for controlling GLCC liquid level and liquid control valve for
controlling LLCC underflow watercut, was studied experimentally and theoretically to
investigate its performance as a three-phase oil-water-gas separator.
Experimental data acquired for the GLCC
©
/LLCC
©
system revealed higher
separation efficiencies when a low amount of gas is carried-under from the GLCC. The
GLCC
©
/LLCC
©
system simulator, developed by combining the linear models for GLCC
and LLCC control, was successfully tested for different perturbations, such as changes of
set points and flow rates, and different applications such as start-up and shut-down
operations.
Based on both the experimental and developed simulator results, the
GLCC
©
/LLCC
©
system is found to be suitable for three-phase bulk separation. Also, the
LLCC performance can be enhanced by controlling the amount of gas carry-under from
the GLCC.
iv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


I want to give special thanks to my advisors Dr. Ovadia Shoham, Dr. Ram S.
Mohan, Dr. Luis Gomez and Dr. Shoubo Wang, for their support and guidance
throughout my research. Their advice and support played an important role in the success
of this thesis and research.
I wish to thank the Tulsa University Separation Technology Projects (TUSTP),
and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through the research grant (DE-FG26-
97BC15024), for providing financial support in conducting this research.
I also want to thank the following for their support and guidance during my
study and research:
• Ms. Judy Teal for her assistance.
• TUSTP members and graduate students for their valuable assistance,
friendship and comments during this project. Especially, Mr. Rajkumar
Mathiravedu and Mr. Vasudevan Sampath for their support.
• I also wish to thank Mr. Don Harris and Mr. Mike Teal for their expert
technical assistance in building the data acquisition systems and control
systems.
This work could not have been done without the help of the most important
persons in my life. They are my parents and my sister Ana. I also want to extend my
gratitude for her help and support of Oris and my friends, who are always in my thoughts
wherever they are.
v
TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE i
APPROVAL PAGE ii
ABSTRACT iii
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS v
LIST OF FIGURES viii
LIST OF TABLES xiii
1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. LITERATURE REVIEW 7
2.1 GLCC Studies 7
2.2 LLCC Studies 9
2.3 Control System Studies 10
2.4 Watercut Measurement 12
3. MATHEMATICAL MODELING 14
3.1 GLCC System 14
3.1.1 GLCC Model 17
3.1.2 Liquid Level Control by Gas Control Valve 25
3.1.3 GLCC Gas Carry-Under 31
3.1.4 GLCC Liquid Carry-Over 32
3.2 LLCC System 33
3.2.1 Linear Model for LLCC Control 37
vi
3.2.2 LLCC Model With Gas 42
3.3 GLCC / LLCC System 47
3.3.1 GLCC / LLCC Separation System 48
3.3.2 Droplet Size Behavior Through Control Valves 50
3.3.3 Pressure Losses Between GLCC and LLCC 52
3.3.4 GLCC / LLCC Control System 53
3.4 Additional GLCC and LLCC Simulations 78
3.4.1 GLCC Start-Up 79
3.4.2 LLCC Start-Up 83
3.4.3 Two-Stage LLCC 84
4. EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM 90
4.1 Experimental Setup 90
4.1.1 Storage and Metering Section 90
4.1.2 Test Section 92
4.1.3 Gas-Oil-Water Separation Section 95
4.1.4 Data Acquisition System 96
4.1.5 Working Fluids 96
4.2 Watercut Measurement Performance in the Presence of Gas 98
4.2.1 Coriolis Mass Flow Meter (Micromotion) 99
4.2.2 Microwave Watercut Meter (Starcut) 100
4.2.3 Watercut Measurement Using Micromotion Compensated
for Gas Void Fraction 103
4.3 Inversion Point Determination 106
vii
4.4 Transient Data 107
4.4.1 GLCC Liquid Level Setpoint as a Perturbation 108
4.4.2 LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoint as a Perturbation 111
4.4.3 Inlet Flowrates and Watercut as a Perturbation for the
GLCC/LLCC System 113
4.4.4 Improvements in GLCC / LLCC System 117
5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 127
5.1 Mathematical Model Discussion 127
5.2 Experimental Program Discussion 128
5.2.1 Uncertainty Analysis for Watercut Meters 128
5.2.2 Uncertainty Analysis at the Inversion Point 132
5.2.3 Uncertainty Analysis for GLCC Liquid Level
Determination 133
5.2.4 Transient Data Discussion 135
6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 136
NOMENCLATURE 140
REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY 145
APPENDIX 152





viii
LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1.1 Schematic of the Gas Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (GLCC
©
) 2
Figure 1.2 Schematic of the Liquid-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (LLCC
©
) 4
Figure 1.3 Schematic of Two-Stage GLCC
©
and LLCC
©
Compact Separation System 5
Figure 3.1 Schematic of GLCC with Metering Loop and Control Systems 15
Figure 3.2 GLCC System Dynamic Modeling Overview 17
Figure 3.3 Block Diagram of Liquid Level Control System by GCV 26
Figure 3.4 Linear Model of Liquid Level Control by GCV 26
Figure 3.5 Schematic of LLCC Control System 33
Figure 3.6 Schematic of LLCC Control Loop 35
Figure 3.7 Structure of Feedback Control Configuration 36
Figure 3.8 Linear Model of LLCC Control Loop 38
Figure 3.9 GVF Effect on the LLCC Split Ratio for 60% Inlet Watercut 45
Figure 3.10 Prediction of LLCC Split Ratio as a Function of the GVF 46
Figure 3.11 Root Locus Plot for LLCC with Gas 47
Figure 3.12 Initial GLCC / LLCC System Approach 48
Figure 3.13 Current GLCC / LLCC System Configuration 49
Figure 3.14 LCV Position and Pressure Drop in Control Valve 51
Figure 3.15 Maximum Droplet Size Downstream of a Control Valve 52
Figure 3.16 Common Vector for Each Pipeline 54
Figure 3.17 GLCC / LLCC System Simulator 56
Figure 3.18 Input Vector Module 57
ix
Figure 3.19 Properties Vector Module 58
Figure 3.20 GLCC Model Subsystem 59
Figure 3.21 GLCC Level Control Subsystem 60
Figure 3.22 GLCC Liquid Carry-over Subsystem 61
Figure 3.23 GLCC Gas Carry-under Subsystem 62
Figure 3.24 GLCC/LLCC Pressure Losses Subsystem 63
Figure 3.25 LLCC Model Subsystem 64
Figure 3.26 LLCC Watercut Control Subsystem 65
Figure 3.27 LLCC Split Ratio to watercut Subsystem 66
Figure 3.28 Gas in LLCC Underflow Subsystem 67
Figure 3.29 Continuous-Phase Detector 67
Figure 3.30 GLCC/LLCC Simulator Results Displays 68
Figure 3.31 GLCC Liquid Level Setpoints Induced 69
Figure 3.32 Actual GLCC Liquid Level for Setpoints Induced 70
Figure 3.33 GLCC Underflow GVF for Liquid Level Setpoints Induced 70
Figure 3.34 LLCC Split Ratio for Liquid Level Setpoints Induced 71
Figure 3.35 Watercut in LLCC (underflow) 72
Figure 3.36 LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoints Induced 73
Figure 3.37 Actual LLCC Underflow Watercuts for Setpoints Induced 73
Figure 3.38 LLCC Split Ratio for Watercut Setpoints Induced 74
Figure 3.39 GLCC Gas and Oil Flowrates Induced 75
Figure 3.40 GLCC Water Flowrates Induced 75
Figure 3.41 GLCC Liquid Level for Different Water Flowrates Induced 76
x
Figure 3.42 GLCC Underflow GVF for Different Water Flowrates Induced 77
Figure 3.43 LLCC Split Ratio for Different Water Flowrates Induced 77
Figure 3.44 LLCC Underflow Watercut for Different Water Flowrates Induced 78
Figure 3.45 GLCC Start-up Simulator 79
Figure 3.46 GLCC Liquid Level Setpoint Inputs 80
Figure 3.47 Actual GLCC Liquid Level for Different Setpoint Inputs 80
Figure 3.48 GLCC Underflow GVF for Different Setpoint Inputs 81
Figure 3.49 LLCC Start-up Simulator 82
Figure 3.50 LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoint Inputs 83
Figure 3.51 Actual LLCC Underflow Watercut for Different Setpoint Inputs 84
Figure 3.52 Two-Stage LLCC Simulator 85
Figure 3.53 Input Flowrates into Two-Stage LLCC System 86
Figure 3.54 First Stage LLCC Underflow Watercut 87
Figure 3.55 Second Stage LLCC Underflow Watercut 87
Figure 3.56 First and Second Stage LLCC Overflow Watercut and Second Stage
LLCC Inlet Watercut 88
Figure 3.57 First and Second Stage LLCC Split Ratios 89
Figure 4.1 Experimental Facility 91
Figure 4.2 Storage And Metering Section 92
Figure 4.3 GLCC Test Section 93
Figure 4.4 LLCC Test Section 94
Figure 4.5 Photo of LLCC Test Section in Place 95
Figure 4.6 Coriolis Mass Flow Meter (Micromotion) in Flow Loop 100
xi
Figure 4.7 Microwave Watercut Meter (Starcut) in Flow Loop 101
Figure 4.8 Starcut Watercut Measurement Validation (50% to 100%) 102
Figure 4.9 Starcut Watercut Measurement Validation (90% to 100%) 102
Figure 4.10 Watercut Measurement Performance Comparison in the Presence of Gas 104
Figure 4.11 Compensated Watercut Measurement Performance in Presence of Gas 105
Figure 4.12 Micromotion Drive Gain for Different Gas Void Fractions 106
Figure 4.13 Inversion Point for Oil-Water mixture based on Starcut. 107
Figure 4.14 GLCC Liquid Level Setpoints Induced 108
Figure 4.15 GLCC Liquid Level Response for Setpoints Induced 109
Figure 4.16 LLCC Underflow Watercut with GLCC Liquid Level Control 110
Figure 4.17 LLCC Split Ratio with GLCC Liquid Level Control 110
Figure 4.18 LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoints Induced 111
Figure 4.19. LLCC Underflow Watercut for Different Setpoints 112
Figure 4.20 LLCC Split Ratio for Different Watercut Setpoints Induced 112
Figure 4.21 Inlet Air Mass Flowrate 113
Figure 4.22 Inlet Oil Mass Flowrate 114
Figure 4.23 Inlet Water Mass Flow 114
Figure 4.24 GLCC Liquid Level for Different Inlet Water Flowrate Perturbations 115
Figure 4.25 LLCC Underflow Watercut for Flowrate Perturbations (Case1) 116
Figure 4.26 LLCC Split Ratio for Different Inlet Water Flowrate Perturbations 117
Figure 4.27 GLCC Liquid Level for Different Setpoints 118
Figure 4.28 GLCC Liquid Level Measurement Comparison 119
Figure 4.29 LLCC Underflow Watercut (97%-98%-97% Setpoint) 120
xii
Figure 4.30 LLCC Underflow Watercut (97%-99%-97% Setpoint) 121
Figure 4.31 LLCC Underflow Watercut (97%-92%-97% Setpoint) 121
Figure 4.32 LLCC Split Ratio Obtained using Micromotion to Measure Watercut 123
Figure 4.33 LLCC Split Ratio Obtained using GVF Compensated Micromotion 123
Figure 4.34 GLCC Liquid Level for Different Setpoints 124
Figure 4.35 LLCC Split Ratio for Different GLCC Liquid Level Setpoints 125
Figure 4.36 LLCC Split Ratio for Different GLCC Liquid Level Setpoints (Watercut
Measured using Micromotion GVF Compensated) 126
Figure 5.1 Starcut Watercut Meter Validation using Single-Phase Measurements with
Micromotion (0% Gas, 50%-100% Watercut Range) 130
Figure 5.2 Starcut Watercut Meter Validation using Single-Phase Measurements with
Micromotion (0% Gas, 90%-100% Watercut Range) 130
Figure 5.3 Watercut Measurement Performance Comparison in the Presence of Gas 131
Figure 5.4 Compensated Watercut Measurement Performance in Presence of Gas 132
Figure 5.5 Inversion Point for Oil-Water Mixture based on Starcut 133
Figure 5.6 GLCC Liquid Level Comparison With and Without Mixture Density
Correction 134






xiii
LIST OF TABLES

Table 3.1 Values of Empirical Factor, Fgl 44
Table 3.2 PID Settings for GLCC and LLCC Controllers During Simulations 69
Table 4.1 Properties of Water Phase 97
Table 4.2 Properties of Oil Phase 97
Table 4.3 PID Settings for GLCC and LLCC Controllers during Experiments 108
Table 4.4 Offset in Liquid Level Signal With and Without Mixture Density
Correction 119
Table 5.1 Uncertainty Analysis for Watercut Meters 129
Table 5.2 Uncertainty Analysis for GLCC Liquid Level Determination 134





1
1. INTRODUCTION

A common phenomenon in the petroleum industry is the production of water
along with hydrocarbons. The amount of produced water usually increases as the field
becomes more mature, and also due to utilization of secondary recovery methods, such as
water flooding. The volume of produced water that must be processed in the downstream
separation facilities often exceeds that of the produced hydrocarbons. This poses a
problem for the industry, as it results in an increase in the size and cost of the separation
facilities.
In the past, oil-water-gas separation technology in the petroleum industry has
relied mainly on conventional vessel-type gravity separators, which are bulky, heavy and
expensive. Recently, the industry has shown keen interest in developing and applying
compact separators that have low weight, possess low cost and are highly efficient. This
has been promoted by the challenges to reduce production costs of offshore and marginal
fields. Following is a brief review of available compact separators.
Gas-Liquid Separation: One economically attractive alternative to conventional
vessel-type gravity separators is the Gas-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (GLCC
©
)
1
, as
shown in Figure 1.1. The GLCC is a simple, compact, low weight and low-cost
separator. It is a vertical pipe section, mounted with a downward inclined, tangential inlet
located approximately at the middle. Neither moving parts nor internal devices are used,
reducing the need for maintenance. Separation in this equipment is achieved by

1
GLCC
©
- Gas-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone - Copyright, The University of Tulsa, 1994
2

centrifugal and gravity forces. The inclined inlet promotes pre-separation of the gas and
liquid phases due to stratification, and the tangential inlet creates a swirling motion in the
vertical pipe. As a result of the centrifugal forces, the heavier liquid phase is forced
toward the pipe wall. The liquid then flows downward and exits from the bottom through
the liquid outlet. The gas phase, being lighter, moves to the center of the pipe and exits
from the top through the gas outlet. Control valves on both gas and liquid outlets
maintain the liquid level around the set point inside the GLCC.
Gas/Liquid Gas/Liquid
Gas Gas
Liquid Liquid
Gas/Liquid Gas/Liquid
Gas Gas
Liquid Liquid

Figure 1.1 Schematic of the Gas Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (GLCC
©
)

Mechanistic models for design and performance prediction of GLCC have already
been developed (Gomez, 1998, Gomez, L.E., 2001) and are in use by the industry. In
these models, the oil-water mixture is treated as a single liquid-phase flow. Also,
strategies for the GLCC liquid level and pressure control have been developed (Wang,
3

2000, Wang et al., 2000). Following the theoretical development of the GLCC control
strategies, field implementations have demonstrated the concept validity. The GLCC has
recently gained popularity in the industry, with more than 500 units installed in the field
around the world.
Liquid-Liquid Separation: The Liquid-Liquid Hydrocyclone (LLHC) is utilized
by the industry to clean produced oily water for disposal, reducing oil concentrations to
levels below 40 ppm. This equipment is suitable for cleaning water with low oil content.
Attempts have been made in the past to utilize cylindrical hydrocyclones for oil-water
separation. The use of cylindrical hydrocyclones for oil-water separation has been
hindered due to the fact that at high velocities they perform as mixers rather than
separators. However, by operating at moderate velocities, the cylindrical hydrocyclone
can be used to perform at least partial oil-water separation (free-water knockout).
Recently, studies have been conducted (Mathiravedu, 2001) on the performance
of Liquid-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (LLCC
©
)
2
as a free-water knockout. The LLCC
©

has a similar configuration as that of the GLCC, namely, a vertical pipe section, but with
a horizontal tangential inlet, as shown in Figure 1.2. The horizontal inlet promotes oil-
water stratification. The liquid phase mixture enters the vertical section through a
reducing area nozzle, increasing its velocity. The swirling motion in the LLCC produces
a centrifugal separation, whereby the oil phase moves to the center, and an oil-rich stream
exits through the top (overflow). The water moves to the pipe wall, flows downward and
exits through the bottom (underflow). Mathiravedu (2001) has also demonstrated the use
of a unique quality control strategy in order to ensure the condition of maximum clean

2
LLCC
©
- Liquid-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone - Copyright, The University of Tulsa, 1998
4

water in the underflow.
The reported results indicate the capability of this device to provide a clean water
stream from the bottom and an oil-rich stream from the top, when operating at low to
moderate liquid velocities.
Oil/Water Oil/Water
Free Water Free Water
Oil Rich Oil Rich
Oil/Water Oil/Water
Free Water Free Water
Oil Rich Oil Rich

Figure 1.2 Schematic of the Liquid-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (LLCC
©
)

Gas-Liquid-Liquid Separation: The GLCC
©
and LLCC
©
have been studied and
used as stand alone devices. In order to extend the cylindrical cyclone technology to three-
phase gas-oil-water separation, it is necessary to study compact separation systems,
consisting of several compact separators in series (Contreras, 2002). Figure 1.3 shows a
simple compact separation system, consisting of combined GLCC
©
and LLCC
©
separators.
In this configuration, the three-phase gas-oil-water mixture enters the GLCC, the first stage
5

device, through the inclined tangential inlet. The gas flows to the top of the GLCC and
exits out of the system. The liquid, an oil-water mixture, flows through the GLCC liquid
leg into the second stage LLCC, where the oil-water separation occurs.
In the proposed combined GLCC
©
/LLCC
©
system, gas carry-under might occur in
the GLCC liquid leg, which will be carried into the LLCC. The performance of the LLCC
with small amount of gas was studied by Contreras (2002). The effect of the presence of
gas in the LLCC on its separation efficiency was quantified.
Gas/Oil/Water Gas/Oil/Water
Gas Gas
Oil/Water/GCU Oil/Water/GCU
Free Water Free Water
Oil Rich Oil Rich
Gas/Oil/Water Gas/Oil/Water
Gas Gas
Oil/Water/GCU Oil/Water/GCU
Free Water Free Water
Oil Rich Oil Rich

Figure 1.3 Schematic of Two-Stage GLCC
©
and LLCC
©
Compact Separation System

A potential problem that might occur in the combined GLCC/LLCC system is the
implementation of automatic process control. Up to date, control strategies have been
developed separately for the GLCC and LLCC separators. No study has been carried out
in the past on the control scheme for the combined GLCC/LLCC system.
6

Objective and Thesis Structure: The objective of the present study is to
combine previous control strategies, developed separately for the GLCC and the LLCC,
and develop a coupled strategy for the GLCC/LLCC system. Furthermore, the design and
installation of an integrated control system, capable of ensuring three-phase separation
for the GLCC
©
/LLCC
©
system, is developed. Finally, extension of the present analysis of
the GLCC
©
/LLCC
©
combined system for other separation systems or configurations is
presented.
The next chapter presents a review of the literature relevant to this study. The
GLCC/LLCC mathematical model is presented in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 presents the
experimental program, including the GLCC/LLCC test facility, testing procedure and
experimental results. A discussion of the developed coupled model predictions and the
experimental results is presented in Chapter 5. Conclusions and recommendations can be
found in Chapter 6.
7
2. LITERATURE REVIEW

The use of the Gas-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (GLCC) and the Liquid-Liquid-
Cylindrical Cyclone (LLCC) as a three-phase separation system is a first step in the
development of integrated separation systems at The Tulsa University Separation
Technology Projects (TUSTP). Pertinent literature on the GLCC and LLCC, along with
related topics is given below.

2.1 GLCC Studies
Previous experimental attempts using cylindrical hydrocyclones for gas-liquid
separation found in the literature include Davies and Watson (1979) and Davies

(1984),
who studied compact separators for offshore production, where small size and low weight
of the equipment are important. They showed that there are several advantages of using a
cyclone separator instead of conventional separator, such as compactness and low cost,
while improving the separation performance.
Nebrensky et al. (1980), developed a cyclone for gas-oil separation that included a
tangential rectangular inlet with a special arrangement to change the inlet area. Zhikarev
et al. (1985) developed a cyclone separator with a rectangular, tangential inlet located
near the bottom.
Based on experimental results, Fekete (1986) suggested the use of a vortex tube
separator due to its low weight and small size. Another study by Oranje (1990) also
showed that cyclone type separators are suitable for applications on offshore platforms
8

due to their small size and weight.
Cowie (1991) tested vertical caisson slug catchers, comparing radial and
tangential inlets. The tangential inlet configuration provided the best performance.
Bandyopadhyay et al. (1994) studied the separation of helium bubbles from water using
cyclone separators. Weingarten et al. (1995), developed and tested the auger separator,
which is a cylindrical cyclone with internal spiral vanes.
Based on experimental and theoretical studies performed at The University of
Tulsa, a mechanistic model for the GLCC was developed by Arpandi et al. (1995). This
model is able to predict the general hydrodynamic flow behavior in a GLCC, including
simple velocity profiles, gas-liquid interface shape, equilibrium liquid level, total
pressure drop, and operational envelop for liquid carry-over. Marti et al. (1996),
attempted to develop a mechanistic model to predict gas carry-under in GLCC separators.
This model predicts the separation efficiency based on bubble trajectory analysis. Gomez
(1998) developed a state-of-the-art computer code integrating improved models for the
different sections of the GLCC. The models developed at The University of Tulsa have
allowed the application of GLCC to real field cases, as detailed by Kouba and Shoham
(1996) and Gomez (1998).
Movafaghian et al. (2000) reported the effects of fluid properties, inlet geometry
and pressure on the behavior of the GLCC. Recently, Gomez, L.E. (2001) developed a
model to predict the gas carry-under in this separator.


9

2.2 LLCC Studies
Most of the published work on liquid-liquid separation in cyclones has been on
conical hydrocyclones (LLHC), consisting of mainly experimental studies. A review of
the important references on the LLHC, is given by Gomez, C.H. (2001).
Very few studies have been published on the Liquid-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone
separator. Listewnik (1984) reported oil-water separation efficiency in a cylindrical
hydrocyclone with four inlets. Gay et al. (1987) presented a comparison between a static
conical hydrocyclone and a rotary cylindrical cyclone. Bednarski and Listewnik (1988)
analyzed the effect of inlet diameter on the separation efficiency of a hydrocyclone. They
concluded that small inlets cause droplet break-up and big inlets do not produce enough
swirl intensity. Seyda (1991) simulated numerically the separation of oil-water
dispersions in a small cylindrical tube.
Afanador (1999), at The University of Tulsa, performed a pioneering
experimental study on the separation efficiency of oil and water by using the LLCC
separator. She used a two-inch cylindrical cyclone with an inclined tangential inlet,
similar to the GLCC configuration. The mixture entered through the inclined tangential
inlet and swirled inside the vertical pipe, providing an oil-rich stream from the top and a
water-rich stream from the bottom.
The LLCC performance has also been studied experimentally by Mathiravedu
(2001). Improvements in its design and control system development are also included in
this investigation.
10

Also recently, Oropeza (2001) developed a novel mechanistic model for
prediction of the complex flow behavior and separation efficiency in the LLCC. The
model consists of several sub-models, including inlet analysis, nozzle analysis, droplet
size distribution model, and separation model based on droplet trajectories in swirling
flow field. Comparisons between the LLCC model predictions and experimental data
showed excellent agreement qualitatively and quantitatively. The developed model can
be utilized for performance analysis and design of the LLCC.
Contreras et al. (2002) studied the effect of the presence of small amount of gas in
the oil-water mixture at the inlet of the LLCC on its performance and separation
efficiency.

2.3 Control System Studies
Control system studies for compact separators have been one of the recent
developments in the oil industry. The performance of compact separators can be
enhanced considerably by incorporating suitable control systems. Development of control
systems for GLCC technology has demonstrated a tremendous impact in improving the
optimization and performance of this separator.
Kartinen and Lewis (1974) developed a discharge flow control system for a
centrifugal separator. The flow control system included a diaphragm-operated valve in
the outlet line that carries the lighter density fluid from the separator. The discharge
pressure of the separated lighter density fluid operated the valve. This pressure was
compared to the inlet mixture pressure across the control diaphragm.
11

Genceli et al. (1988) developed a dynamic model and a simulator for a vessel type
slug catcher. They proposed a liquid level control and pressure control configuration and
PI controllers for both control loops. The slug catcher program was primarily used to
optimize the slug catcher size.
Wang (1997) improved GLCC compact separator performance by adopting a
suitable control strategy to reduce liquid carry-over into the gas stream or gas carry-under
into the liquid stream. A dynamic model for control of GLCC liquid level and pressure,
using classical control techniques, was developed in that study for the first time. Detailed
analysis of the GLCC control system stability and transient response were reported by
Wang et al., (1998). This study indicated that liquid level control could be achieved
effectively by a control valve in the liquid outlet for gas dominated systems, or by a
control valve in the gas outlet for liquid dominated systems. Based on the proposed linear
control system model, the system performance was simulated using a suitable software
(MatLab/Simulink
®
).
Wang et al. (2000) developed a unique optimal control strategy, capable of
optimizing the GLCC operating pressure. Detailed simulations and experimental
investigations were conducted to evaluate the performance of the proposed optimal
control system. The significant advantages of this strategy (Wang, 2000) are: The system
can be operated at optimum separator back pressure; the system can adapt to the changes
of liquid and gas flow conditions; and finally, the strategy can be easily implemented
using simple PID controllers available in the market.
LLCC control dynamics have been recently studied both theoretically and
experimentally by Mathiravedu (2001). A unique control strategy has been developed and
12

implemented, capable of obtaining clear water in the underflow line and maintaining
maximum underflow (optimal split ratio). A linear model has been developed, for the
first time, for LLCC separators equipped with underflow watercut control, which enables
simulation of the system dynamic behavior. Comparison of simulation and experimental
results showed that the control system simulator is capable of representing the real
physical system and can be used to verify the controller design and dynamic behavior.

2.4 Watercut Measurement
The measurement of water content in crude oil is an important and widely
encountered practice in the petroleum industry. The watercut measurement is utilized in
multiphase flow meters. Also, monitoring watercut at various points throughout a
processing facility may optimize the separation efficiency in production operations. A
review of available watercut meters is reported below.
Agar (1988) developed a watercut meter using microwave method, by measuring
the energy absorption properties of an oil-water mixture. Lew (1988) developed a method
and a device for determining the concentration of each phase in an oil-water mixture
utilizing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) analysis. In this method, a direct and
accurate measure of the desired component, oil for example, can be achieved on a real-
time basis in the field, without the need to interrupt operations.
Durrett et al. (1989) developed a watercut monitor that uses microwave principle
to measure the watercut in a multiphase flow stream. Measurement accuracy was
maintained despite changes in temperature, salinity, crude properties and the presence of
13

gas. Gaisford et al. (1992) used Radio Frequency (RF) bridge technique to determine the
composition of oil and water in an oil-water mixture. The device is operated by using the
metal pipe of the process stream as an electromagnetic waveguide.
Cobb (1995) developed a method and an apparatus to monitor the composition of
a fluid mixture traveling through a conduit, using ultrasonic propagation. These
measurements were used to determine fluid mixture composition based on a relationship
derived from measurement of samples of the fluid mixture. Al-Mubarak (1997) proposed
a new method for calculating watercut using a Coriolis device such as Micromotion
®

mass flow meter. The method provided reliable well testing results that are comparable
with a three-phase conventional test facility, when there is no gas present in the
multiphase mixture. Recently, Lievois (2000) developed a narrow band infrared watercut
meter that can detect a full watercut range of a flow stream.
As shown above, there is no previous work regarding the integration process of
separators. However, the work of Contreras (2002) is very helpful since it considers one
of the most important factors in the cascaded configuration, which is the effect of the gas
carry-under coming from the GLCC into the LLCC, on the LLCC performance. The
scope and contribution of the present study is to assemble previous models and
experimental studies performed for each separator separately, and construct a coupled
model for the GLCC/LLCC system.


14
3. MATHEMATICAL MODEL

The mathematical model for the GLCC that was developed by Wang (2000)
consists of two parts, namely GLCC model and control system model. The GLCC model
is developed based on gas and liquid mass balance equations, flow behavior of the
respective phases in the GLCC, and pressure drops across the gas and liquid legs. The
control system model facilitates the design of the controllers required to optimize the
separator.
The LLCC model, developed by Mathiravedu (2001), is based on the water
concentration in the underflow as the measuring parameter. The methodology for LLCC
control system is established as a design tool, and simulators are developed using
Matlab/Simulink
®
to evaluate the system dynamic behavior. A linear model has been
developed for the LLCC control loop to conduct the controller design and dynamic
simulation.
In this study, additional value has been added to the work of Wang and
Mathiravedu while integrating both strategies into a two-stage three-phase separation
system.
3.1 GLCC System
System Definition
A schematic of a GLCC equipped with control system is shown in Figure 3.1. The
GLCC geometrical parameters and dimensions specified in this figure are derived based
on specific design criteria corresponding to the operating conditions.


15
DP Gas / Liquid
Inlet
Liquid
Leg
Gas Leg
Gas Meter
Liquid
Meter
Recombination
Top View
DP DP Gas / Liquid
Inlet
Liquid
Leg
Gas Leg
Gas Meter
Liquid
Meter
Recombination
Top View

Figure 3.1 Schematic of GLCC with Metering Loop and Control Systems

The GLCC separator has a two-phase flow inlet and single-phase gas and liquid
outlets. A level sensor, such as a differential pressure transducer, is used to determine the
dynamic liquid level in the GLCC. The actuating signal from the level sensor is sent to
the liquid level controller, which in turn operates the liquid control valve (LCV) opening
the liquid outlet, correspondingly. However, for very large liquid flow variations, the
liquid level may rise even when the liquid leg valve is completely open. During that
circumstance, it is possible to avoid liquid carry-over through building up backpressure in
the GLCC by closing the gas control valve (GCV). Alternatively, the gas control valve


16
can also be used for GLCC pressure control by interfacing with the absolute pressure
transducer, measuring the GLCC pressure.
The liquid and gas inlet flow rates usually fluctuate, especially under slug flow
conditions. This will cause the GLCC pressure and liquid level to fluctuate too, during
operation. These dynamics affect the performance of the GLCC, as the liquid carry-over
and gas carry-under strongly depend on the liquid level in the GLCC. The objective of
the control system is to control the pressure and liquid level in the GLCC, thereby
improving its performance.
The respective sensors measure the controlled parameters, which in this case are
the pressure or liquid level in the GLCC, and send the actuating signals to the
corresponding transmitters. The transmitters convert the information into current signals
in the range of 4-20 mA. The error, the difference between the set point pressure and the
actual pressure from the transmitter, or the difference between the set point liquid level
and actual liquid level, is sent to the corresponding controller. The controller sends the
corresponding actuating pressure signal to the control valve through the pneumatic lines
so that it can be operated accordingly.
Dynamic Modeling
An overview of the GLCC control system dynamic modeling is shown in Figure
3.2. The system consists of four parts, namely inlet, GLCC body, outlets and control
system. The inlet defines the gas and liquid inflow conditions. The GLCC defines the
operating conditions from the liquid-phase and gas-phase mass balances (liquid level and
pressure). The outlets define gas and liquid outflow conditions based on the control valve


17
characteristics. The control system provides the interface between the GLCC and the
outlets based on the control system characteristics (controller, sensor, actuator etc.). The
dynamic model is developed for the GLCC and the control system in the following
sections.
Inlet GLCC Outlet
Control
System
Flow
conditions
Operational
conditions
Control Valve
characteristics
Controller
characteristics
Inlet GLCC Outlet
Control
System
Flow
conditions
Operational
conditions
Control Valve
characteristics
Controller
characteristics

Figure 3.2 GLCC System Dynamic Modeling Overview

3.1.1 GLCC Model
Pressure balances across the liquid leg and gas leg provide two equations related to the
GLCC pressure and the liquid level. The mass balances of the liquid-phase and the gas-
phase provide two additional equations. These equations are given next.
Liquid Leg Pressure Drop. The pressure drop across the liquid leg is given by

LCV
c
L Lout L L
Lout
∆P
g
gH ρ Q ρ C
P P +

= −
2
(3.1)

where
L
C is the overall flow coefficient of the liquid leg that is given by,



18

(
(
¸
(

¸

+ =
∑ ∑
= =
n
i
m
j
Lj
j L
Li
i L i L
L
d d
L f
C
1 1
2 4 2 5
8
8
π
κ
π
(3.2)
LCV
P ∆ is the pressure drop across the liquid control valve, which can be solved from the
liquid control valve flow rate equation (Fisher, 1998), as follows

( )
L
LCV
v Lout
P
C Q
γ

= 002228 . 0 (3.3)

Solving
LCV
P ∆ from equation (3.3) gives

( )
2 2
2
002228 . 0
v
L Lout
LCV
C
Q
P
γ
= ∆ (3.4)

Substituting equation (3.4) into equation (3.1) yields an expression for the total pressure
drop across the liquid leg of the GLCC, namely,

+

= −
c
L Lout L L
Lout
g
gH ρ Q ρ C
P P
2
( )
2 2
2
002228 . 0
v
L Lout
C
Q γ
(3.5)

Taking the derivative of equation (3.5) with respect to time, and assuming the
liquid discharge pressure,
Lout
P , to be constant, gives an expression for the rate of change
of the GLCC pressure caused by the change of the liquid control valve position, namely,



19
( )
( ) ( )
( )
2
2 2
2 2 2 2
002228 . 0
002228 . 0 2 002228 . 0 2
2
v
v
L Lout v v
Lout
L Lout
c
L
Lout
Lout L L
C
dt
dC
Q C C
dt
dQ
Q
g
dt
dH
g ρ
dt
dQ
Q ρ C
dt
dP
γ γ −
|
|
.
|

\
|
+

=
(3.6)

Gas Leg Pressure Drop. The pressure drop across the gas leg is given by

GCV
c
G Gout G G
Gout
∆P
g
gH ρ Q ρ C
P P +

= −
2
(3.7)

where
G
C is the overall flow coefficient of the gas leg that is given by,

(
(
¸
(

¸

+ =
∑ ∑
= =
n
i
m
j
Gj
j G
Gi
i G i G
G
d d
L f
C
1 1
2 4 2 5
8
8
π
κ
π
(3.8)

GCV
P ∆ is the pressure across the gas leg of the GLCC, which can be solved from the gas
control valve flow rate equation (Fisher, 1998),

( )
Deg
GCV
g
G
Gout
P
P
C
C P
T
Q
|
|
.
|

\
|

(
¸
(

¸

=
1
3417
sin
520 3600
7 . 14
γ
(3.9)

Solving
GCV
P ∆ from equation (3.9) gives,



20
( )
( )
( )
2
2
1
520
7 . 14
3600
sin
3417
(
(
¸
(

¸

|
|
.
|

\
|
|
.
|

\
|
= ∆
T P C
Q
arc P
C
P
G
g
Gout
GCV
γ
(3.10)

Substituting equation (3.10) in equation (3.7) gives the total pressure drop across the gas
leg, namely,

+

= −
c
G Gout G G
Gout
g
gH ρ Q ρ C
P P
2
( )
( )
( )
2
2
1
520
7 . 14
3600
sin
3417
(
(
¸
(

¸

|
|
.
|

\
|
|
.
|

\
|
T P C
Q
arc P
C
G
g
Gout
γ
(3.11)

Taking the derivative of equation (3.11) with respect to time, assuming constant
liquid discharge pressure
Lout
P and operating temperature T , gives an expression for the
rate of change of the GLCC pressure caused by the change of gas control valve position,
namely,

( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
|
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ −
|
|
.
|

\
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
(
(
¸
(

¸


|
.
|

\
|
+
(
(
¸
(

¸

|
|
.
|

\
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
|
|
.
|

\
|
− +
|
|
.
|

\
| −
=
2 2
2
2
1
2
2
1
2
520
7 . 14
3600
520
7 . 14
3600
1
1
3417
520
7 . 14
3600
sin
3417
2
g
g
g
Gout g
Gout
G
g
G
g
Gout
G
g
Gout
Gout
Gout G
c
G G
c
Gout G
C P
dt
dP
C
dt
dC
P Q P C
dt
dQ
T C
T P C
Q
P
C
dt
dP
T P C
Q
arc
C
dt
dH
g
dt
dQ
Q C
g
ρ
dt

g
gH Q C
dt
dP
γ
γ
γ
(3.12)


21
The rate of change of gas density can be found from the equation of state, given by,

ZRT
PM
G
G
= ρ (3.13)

Taking the derivative of equation (3.13) with respect to time gives the rate of change
of gas density, namely,

( ) dt
dP
ZRT
M
dt
d
G G
=
ρ
(3.14)

Liquid Mass Balance. Taking the liquid-phase mass balance in the GLCC gives the rate
of change of liquid level, namely,

dt
dV
d dt
dH
L
2
4
π
= (3.15)

where the rate of change of liquid volume in the GLCC is given by,

Lout Lin
L
Q Q
dt
dV
− = (3.16)

Gas Mass Balance. The gas-phase mass balance in the GLCC gives an expression for the
rate of change of gas mole number, namely,



22
( )
G
G
Gout Gin
G
M
Q Q
dt
dn ρ
− = (3.17)

Differentiating the equation of state ( ZRT n PV
G G
= ) with respect to time gives the
relationship between the rate of change of GLCC pressure and the rate of change of gas
mole number and the rate of change of gas volume, namely,

dt
dV
P
dt
dn
ZRT
dt
dP
V
G G
G
− = (3.18)

As the volume of the GLCC is constant, the rate of change of gas volume and liquid
volume are related as,

dt
dV
dt
dV
L G
− = (3.19)

Substituting equations (3.16), (3.17) and (3.19) in equation (3.18) yields a relationship
between the rate of change of GLCC pressure and the rate of change of gas and liquid
volumes, namely,

( ) ( )
Lout Lin Gout Gin
G
G
G
Q Q P Q Q
M
ZRT
dt
dP
V − + − =
ρ
(3.20)

where the gas volume is defined as, ( )
2
4
d H H V
GLCC G
π
⋅ − = .


23
Equation (3.6), (3.12), (3.15) and (3.20) form the GLCC model. The unknowns
are GLCC pressure P , liquid level H , liquid outflow rate
Lout
Q , gas outflow rate
Gout
Q ,
and liquid control valve and gas control valve flow coefficients, namely,
v
C and
g
C ,
respectively. Thus, there are four equations and six unknowns. We need two more
equations for solving the LCV and GCV flow coefficients. These equations were derived
by Wang (2000).
For the metering loop configuration, the GLCC can be operated without control
systems for a limited range of inlet flow variations. Instead of using control valves,
manual choke valves with constant flow coefficients can be used to balance the pressure
drops across the liquid leg and gas leg. For this case, the GLCC model is a static model
and can be solved for equilibrium liquid level and pressure at any liquid and gas inflow
conditions, without any additional equations for flow coefficients.

System Specifications. The system specifications, including all the parameters for the
system components, are given below.
• GLCC body: diameter
GLCC
d , total height
GLCC
H ;
• Gas leg: diameter
Gi
d , length
Gi
L , friction factor
Gi
f and fittings
Gi
κ ;
• Liquid leg: diameter
Li
d , length
Li
L , friction factor
Li
f and fittings
Li
κ ;
• Gas control valve: flow characteristics
g
C and response time
oG
C (experimentally
determined);
• Liquid control valve: flow characteristics
v
C and response time
oL
C (experimentally determined);


24
• Pneumatic line time constants
oL
τ and
oG
τ for the liquid control loop and gas
control loop, respectively.

Initial Conditions. It is assumed that initially the system operates at steady-state
conditions. The liquid level and pressure are at the set point liquid level and set point
pressure. The flow conditions are the designed inlet liquid and gas flow rates. The liquid
and gas control valve positions are designed to be 50% open. The pneumatic pressure
signal corresponding to 50% control valve opening is the set point pneumatic pressure (9
psig for this case). For any liquid and/or gas flow rate disturbances from their steady-state
values, the system equations can be solved for the dynamic liquid level and GLCC
pressure.
For liquid level control by LCV and pressure control by GCV, the initial conditions
are given as follows: ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
Go Gout Lo Lout set set
Q Q Q Q P P H H = = = = 0 ; 0 ; 0 ; 0 ;
( ) ( )
gset g vset v
C C C C = = 0 ; 0 .
For liquid level control by both LCV and GCV, the initial conditions are given as
follows: ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
Go Gout Lo Lout o set
Q Q Q Q P P H H = = = = 0 ; 0 ; 0 ; 0 ; ( ) ; 0
vset v
C C =
( )
gset g
C C = 0 .
For primary liquid level control by LCV and secondary liquid control valve position
control by GCV, the initial conditions are also given by: ( ) ; 0
set
H H =
( ) ( ) ( )
Go Gout Lo Lout o
Q Q Q Q P P = = = 0 ; 0 ; 0 ; ( ) ( )
gset g vset v
C C C C = = 0 ; 0 ;
set
x x = ) 0 ( .


25
Controller Settings. PID controller is assumed for the control loop. Actually, the kind of
controller to be used for a given system is unknown until the system is analyzed and the
controller is designed.
As expected, the system equations cannot be solved without the controller
specifications. The nonlinear model is difficult to solve for control system design
purposes.

3.1.2 Liquid Level Control by Gas Control valve
Linear Model. The block diagram of the liquid level control loop using GCV is shown in
Figure 3.3. The corresponding linear difference equation model is shown in Figure 3.4.
The linear model is derived based on the assumption that the gas inflow rate remains
constant.
Block 1. This is a pure integrator relating the liquid volumetric flow rate to the liquid
volume. In the form of deviation variable, the liquid inflow and outflow rates can be
expressed as,
Ls Lin Lin
Q Q Q − = ∆ and
Ls Lout Lout
Q Q Q − = ∆ . The rate of change of liquid
volume in the GLCC is given by,

Lout Lin Lout Lin
L
L
Q Q Q Q
dt
V d
V − = ∆ − ∆ =

= ∆
.
(3.21)
where
L
V ∆ is the net liquid volume change in the GLCC.
Taking the Laplace transformation of equation (3.21) gives,
( )
( )
s
s V
s V
L
L
1
.
=


(3.22)









Figure 3.3 Block Diagram of Liquid Level Control System by GCV










Figure 3.4 Linear Model of Liquid Level Control by GCV
CONTROLLER
GAS RATE IN
TRANSMITTER/SENSOR
RELATION 4
+ GAS
CONTROL
VALVE &
ACTUATOR
GAS
RATE
OUT

LIQUID
RATE IN
+


LIQUID
RATE
OUT
RELATION 2
PGLCC
RELATION 1
RELATION 3
+

LIQUID
LEVEL
∆Q
Lin
+

L
V
&

1
s
L
Q ∆
1
D
H ∆
e ∆
v
p ∆
1
100
'
lim
+


s C
p
o
v
x ∆
set
x x
g
x
C
=










4
D
g
C ∆
∆Q
Lout
1
1
'
+ s
o
τ
c
E ∆
min max
16
H H −
− Gout
Q ∆
) (s G
cG
3
D
P ∆
5
D
∆Q
Lout
16
lim v
p ∆
c
p ∆
s
1
G
V ∆
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12
1
Liquid
Level
Setpoint
2
6



27
Block 2. This block presents the linear relationship between liquid level change and
the change of liquid volume in the GLCC. Using deviation variables in equation (3.15),
the liquid level can be expressed as,
set
H H H − = ∆ . Substituting the deviation variables
and taking Laplace transform of equation (3.15) gives,

( )
( )
2
1
4
d s V
s H
D
L
π
=


= (3.23)

Block 3. This is the liquid level transmitter gain. As developed by Wang (2000),
based on the error signal and using deviation variables gives, ) (
16
min max
H
H H
e ∆ − ×

= ∆ .
Taking the Laplace transform yields,

( )
( )
min max
16
H H s H
s e


=


(3.24)

Block 4. This is the unknown controller block, which needs to be specified in the
controller design. From Wang (2000), the general form of the mathematical description
for a PID controller is given by,
( )
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ + = s t
s t
K s PID
d
i
c
1
1 (3.25)
or
( ) s k
s
k
k s PID
d
i
p
+ + = (3.26)


28
Block 5. This is the gain, which converts the controller output current signal (4-20
mA) to pneumatic pressure signal (typically 3-15 psi) to actuate the control valve.


( )
( ) ( ) 16 4 20
lim min max v v v
c
c
p p p
s E
s p ∆
=


=


(3.27)

Block 6. This is the transfer function for the pneumatic line delay.

1
1
'
+



s p
p
o c
v
τ
(3.28)

Block 7. This is the transfer function for the control valve. As shown by Wang
(2000), taking derivative of the pneumatic control valve equation with respect to time
using deviation variables and taking the Laplace transform gives,

( )
( ) 1
100
'
lim
+

=


s C
p
s p
s x
o
v
v
(3.29)

where
min max lim v v v
p p p − = . The negative sign comes from the reverse action of the
control valve.



29
Block 8. This block is the transfer function of the relationship between the control
valve flow characteristic and control valve position. In this study, a linear flow
characteristic around the set point for the control valves is assumed.

( )
( )
set
x x
g g
x
C
s x
s C
=
|
|
.
|

\
|


=


(3.30)

Block 9. This is the transfer function for the gas flow rate calculation related to the
control valve. In equation (3.9), assuming the pressure is constant and
set
P P = ,
substituting the deviation variables and taking the Laplace transform gives the linear
relationship of the change of gas outflow rate and the change of the gas control valve
position or flow coefficient, namely,

( )
( )
Deg
set
Gout set
set
G g
Gout
P
P P
C
P
T
s C
s Q
D
(
(
¸
(

¸


=


=
1
4
3417
sin
520 3600
7 . 14
γ
(3.31)

Block 10. This is a pure integrator relating the gas volumetric flow rate to the gas
volume. In the form of deviation variable, the gas inflow and outflow rates can be
expressed as,
Gs Gin Gin
Q Q Q − = ∆ and
Gs Gout Gout
Q Q Q − = ∆ . The rate of change of gas
volume in the GLCC is given by,
Gout Gin Gout Gin
G
G
Q Q Q Q
dt
V d
V − = ∆ − ∆ =

= ∆
.
(3.32)
where
G
V ∆ is the net liquid volume change in the GLCC.


30
Taking the Laplace transformation of equation (3.32) gives,
( )
( )
s
s V
s V
G
G
1
.
=


(3.33)

Block 11. This is the transfer function for the relationship between the GLCC
pressure and the net gas volume change in the GLCC. In equation (3.20), it is assumed
that the gas column volume
G
V is constant. This assumption is valid provided the liquid
level is controlled around the set point, which implies that the liquid outflow matches the
inflow. Also, it is assumed that the gas density to be constant (when the GLCC pressure
doesn’t change much). Using deviation variables and taking the Laplace transform gives,

( )
s
D
V
s P
G
1
3
.



(3.34)
where,
( )
Gset
set
G
V
P
V
s P
D ≅


=
3
.

Block 12. This is another transfer function for the LCV liquid outflow rate
calculation. In this case, the control valve position or flow coefficient is assumed to be
constant at the initial position corresponding to the set point flow conditions. The liquid
outflow is assumed to be driven by the GLCC pressure alone. Using deviation variables
and taking the Laplace transform of equation (3.3) gives,

( )
( )
Lout set L
vset Lout
P P
C
s P
s Q
D

=


=
1
2
1 002228 . 0
5
γ
(3.35)


31
Controller Design: The open loop transfer function can be obtained from the linear model
of liquid level control by GCV that is given by,

( ) ( ) ( )
) 1 )( 1 (
' ' 2
+ +
=
s s C s
K
s G s G s H
o o
s
cG
τ
(3.36)

where:
) (s H - feed back path transfer function
) (s G - feed forward path transfer function
) (s G
cG
- controller transfer function, need to be determined from the design.
s
K - the system gain, which is given by,

set
x x
g
v
v
s
x
C
p
p
H H
D D D D K
=
|
|
.
|

\
|


|
|
.
|

\
|


|
.
|

\
| ∆
|
|
.
|

\
|


=
lim
lim
min max
5 4 3 1
100
16
16
(3.37)

Further details on the controller design and additional calculations can be found in the
work of Wang (2000).

3.1.3 GLCC Gas Carry-Under
Due to the complex nature of the GLCC dynamic system, a simple method is
required to study the gas carry-under in the liquid leg. Marrelli, et al. (2000) developed a
correlation to predict the gas void fraction in the GLCC underflow based on the in-situ


32
gas volume fraction at the GLCC inlet (GVF
i
), Reynolds Number in the liquid leg (Re
l
)
and a dimensionless equilibrium liquid level (Led). This equation is presented below:

51 . 3
095 . 0
307 . 0
1000
Re
1 . 46


|
.
|

\
|
⋅ ⋅ = Led GVF GVF
l
i
α (3.38)

3.1.4 GLCC Liquid Carry-Over
Liquid carry-over in the GLCC is a very complex phenomenon under transient
conditions. However, for limited gas flow rates, simple correlations can be applied to
predict this effect. Ishii and Mishima (1989) introduced a correlation to predict the
entrainment fraction under the quasi-equilibrium condition. Consequently, it should be
applied in regions distant from the inlet. Thus, in terms of an entrainment Weber number
and liquid Reynolds number, the equilibrium entrainment correlation becomes:
( )
25 . 0 25 . 1 7
Re 10 25 . 7 tanh
f
We E ⋅ ⋅ × =

(3.39)
where,

3
1
2
|
|
.
|

\
|


⋅ ⋅
=
g
g g
D j
We
ρ
ρ
σ
ρ


f
f f
f
D j
µ
ρ ⋅ ⋅
= Re
j
g
: volumetric flux of gas-phase (superficial velocity)
j
f
: volumetric flux of liquid-phase
µ
f
: liquid viscosity
∆ρ : density difference



33
3.2 LLCC System
A schematic of LLCC equipped with control system is shown in Figure 3.5. The
LLCC geometrical parameters and dimensions specified are derived based on specific
design criteria corresponding to the operating conditions. The LLCC separator has a two-
phase flow inlet and single-phase water and oil rich outlets. Watercut meters, such as
Micromotion Mass Flow Meter and/or Starcut Watercut Meter, are used to determine the
water concentration in the underflow.
Starcut
Micromotion
wcC
wcCV
Oil
rich
Oil / Water
Inlet Mixture
Water
leg

Figure 3.5 Schematic of LLCC Control System
Free
Water


34
The actuating signal from the watercut meter is sent to the controller to control the
position of the control valve, which is mounted in the LLCC underflow line. The
operation of LLCC strongly depends upon the split of inlet flow rates. Split Ratio, S.R, is
an important parameter used in this study to quantify the performance of LLCC. It is the
ratio of the underflow rate to the total inlet flow rate, as given below:
S.R =
Qin
Qunderflow
× 100 % (3.40)

The main objective of using a LLCC compact separator is to provide an effective
alternative for oil-water separation in the form of a free-water knockout device. Hence,
there exists an optimal split ratio that depends upon the LLCC inlet flow conditions.
Optimal Split Ratio is defined as that particular split in which maximum underflow in
LLCC is obtained and at the same time maintaining clear water in the underflow.
However, the inlet water and oil flow rate fluctuations will cause the watercut in the
underflow to fluctuate during operation. These dynamics affect the performance of the
LLCC since watercut at the inlet is an indirect parameter of the optimal split ratio.
Therefore, the objective of the control system is to maintain the optimal split ratio for
different inlet oil and water flow rates.

A schematic of the control strategy developed in this study is shown in Figure 3.6.
The sensor/transmitter (Micromotion Mass Flow Meter and/or Starcut Watercut Meter)
measure the control parameter, in this case the underflow watercut, directly and converts
the watercut signal into current signal in the range of 4-20 mA. This signal is compared
to the watercut set point and the error signal is sent to the controller. The controller


35
output is sent to the control valve in the form of pneumatic actuating pressure signal to
control the valve position accordingly.

Liquid
Underflow
Flowrate
Watercut
Setpoint
Downstream
Controller
Pneumatic
Line
Water
Control Valve
Relation
1 2 3,4,5,6 7,8
Watercut
Sensor/Transmitter
Actual
Watercut
Inlet Oil
Flowrate
Inlet Water
Flowrate
+
-
+
-

Figure 3.6 Schematic of LLCC Control Loop

Design Elements of the Control System
The sequence of procedure followed for LLCC control system design and analysis
is discussed below in detail.

a) Control Objectives:
The central element in any control configuration is the process that needs to be
controlled. Thus, the control objectives for LLCC control are two-fold:
i) obtain clear water in the underflow and
ii) maximize the amount of water that can be separated.
b) Selection of Measurements:
Some means to monitoring the performance of a process is needed in order to
achieve the control objectives. This is done, by measuring the values of certain process
variables that represent the control objectives. In this case, the variable that is used to
monitor the performance of LLCC is watercut in the underflow.


36
c) Selection of Manipulated Variables:
Manipulated variables are those that can be used to control a process. In this case,
position of control valve is the manipulated variable.
d) Selection of Control Configuration:
A control configuration is the information structure that is used to connect the
available measurements to the available manipulated variables. For the LLCC watercut
control, the feedback control configuration is applied.
Feedback Control Configuration: This configuration uses direct measurement of the
controlled variables to adjust the value of the manipulated variables, as shown in Figure
3.7. The objective is to keep the controlled variables at desired levels (set points).
.
.
. .
Measured
outputs
Unmeasured Outputs
Manipulated
Variables
Disturbances
.
.
Process
. .
Controller
Set points
.
.
.
.
. .
Measured
outputs
Unmeasured Outputs
Manipulated
Variables
Disturbances
.
.
Process
. .
Process
. .
Controller
Set points
.
.

Figure 3.7 Structure of Feedback Control Configuration


Non-measured Outputs


37
3.2.1 Linear Model for LLCC Control
The main reason for developing a linear model is to approximate the dynamic
behavior of a nonlinear system in the neighborhood of specified operating conditions.
This approach, in principle, is always feasible and is widely used in the study of process
dynamics and design of control systems. The main advantages are as follows:
• Analytical solutions can be obtained for linear systems. It helps to obtain a
complete and general picture of system’s behavior.
• Most significant developments towards the design of effective control
systems are available for linear systems.
The block diagram of the watercut control loop using a control valve in the water
leg is shown earlier in Figure 3.6. The corresponding linear model is shown in Figure 3.8.
The transfer functions given in the blocks are stepwise mathematical descriptions of the
physical subsystems in Laplace domain. The transfer functions are related to deviation
variables instead of actual variables. A deviation variable is the deviation of a variable
from its steady-state or set point value, denoted by a preceding ∆. The reason for using
deviation variables is that the ratio of the output to the input of a block can be expressed
linearly. This is done assuming that the real controlled variable is at the set point value
from steady state conditions.

















Figure 3.8 Linear Model of LLCC Control Loop
1. Feedback Controller 5. C.V Characteristics
2. Pneumatic Line Gain 6. Underflow Calculation
3. Actuator Delay 7,8. Watercut Calculation
4. C.V. Response Time 9. Transmitter Gain


1
D
set
x x
x
v
C
=








1
1
+ s
o
τ
) s (
1 c
G
1 2 3 4 5 6
v
p ∆
c p ∆ u Q ∆
c E ∆
x ∆
v
C ∆
6
in
Q ∆
min max . .
16
C W C W −
Qo ∆
in
Q ∆
1
C
7 8
R S. 1 ∆ −
C W. ∆
+
1
p / 100 vlim
+

s C
o
e ∆





 ∆
16
lim v
p
3
8



39
Block 1:
This is the unknown controller block that needs to be determined from the
controller design. As reported by Mathiravedu (2001), the transfer function for a PI
controller is given by,
( )
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ =
s t
1
1 K s PI
i
c
(3.41)
or
( )
s
k
k s PI
i
p
+ = (3.42)
Block 2:
This is the gain, which converts the controller output current signal (4-20 mA) to
pneumatic pressure signal (typically 3-15 psig) to actuate the control valve.



) (
) (
s E
s p
c
c
( ) 4 20
min max


v v
p p
=
16
lim v
p ∆
(3.43)
Block 3:
This is the transfer function of pneumatic line delay.

1
1
) (
) (
+



s s p
s p
o c
v
τ
(3.44)
Block 4:
This is the transfer function for the control valve. Mathiravedu (2001) verified
that taking derivative of the pneumatic control valve equation with respect to time using
deviation variables and taking the Laplace transform gives,
( )
( ) 1 s C
p
100
s p
s x
o
v
v
+
=


lim
(3.45)


40
where,
min max lim v v v
p p p − = (12 psig in this study)
Block 5:
As presented before, this block denotes the transfer function of the relationship
between the control valve flow characteristics and control valve position. In this study, a
linear flow characteristic around the set point is assumed.
( )
( )
set
x x
v v
x
C
s x
s C
=
|
.
|

\
|


=




(3.46)

Block 6:
This is the transfer function of the liquid flow rate calculation for the control
valve. Assuming that the pressure drop across the control valve is constant, the liquid
flow rate is only a function of flow coefficient. Taking derivative of equation (3.3), using
deviation variables and taking the Laplace transform gives,

( )
( )
L
LCV
1
γ
∆P
0.002228
s
v
∆C
s
u
∆Q
D = = (3.47)
Block 7:
This is the transfer function that converts the overflow rate to the split ratio.
Recall that the split ratio is defined as the ratio of the underflow rate to the total inlet flow
rate, namely,
S.R. =
in
u
Q
Q
and dS.R. =
in
u
dQ
dQ


Using deviation variables,


41
( )
( )
( ) s Q
s Q
s R S
in
u


= ∆ .

1- ( ) = ∆ s R S. 1-
( )
( ) s Q
s Q
in
u




1- ( ) = ∆ s R S.
( ) ( )
( ) s Q
s Q s Q
in
u in

∆ − ∆


1- ( )
( )
( ) s Q
s Q
s R S
in
o


= ∆ .


( )
( ) ( ) s Q
1
s Q
s R S 1
in o

=

∆ − .
(3.48)
Block 8:
This is the transfer function that converts the split ratio to the underflow watercut.
The conversion value is obtained from the graph plotted using the experimental data.
Using deviation variables, this transfer function is given by:
Slope (C) =
( )
( )
=
− s R S 1 d
s C dW
) . (
. .

( )
( ) s R S 1
s C W
.
. .
∆ −

(3.49)
Block 9:
This is the watercut sensor/transmitter gain. As confirmed by Mathiravedu (2001),
using deviation variables in the controller error signal equation and taking the Laplace
transform gives,


42

( )
( )
min max
. . . .
16
. C W C W s C W
s e

=


(3.50)

Controller Design
The system open loop transfer function for watercut control using a control valve
in the underflow can be easily derived from the linear model, and is given by,
( ) ( ) ( )
( )( ) 1 1 + +
=
s s C
K
s G s G s H
o o
s
cl
τ
(3.51)
where,
H(s) - feed back path transfer function
G(s) - feed forward path transfer function
G
cl
(s) - controller transfer function (needs to be determined)
o
C - Control Valve Delay (2 sec)
o
τ - Time Constant of the Actuator (0.2 sec)
K
s
– System gain, given by

|
|
.
|

\
|

|
.
|

\
|


|
|
.
|

\
|

|
.
|

\
| ∆
|
|
.
|

\
|

=
= in x x
v
v
v
1
s
Q
C
x
C
p
100
16
p
C W C W
16
D K
set
lim
lim
min max
. .
.
Further information about the controller design and other details in the
development of the LLCC control strategy can be found in the work of Mathiravedu
(2001) and Mathiravedu et al. (2002).

3.2.2 LLCC Model With Gas
In order to be able to predict the hydrodynamic flow behavior in the LLCC


43
operating with small amount of gas, it is important to understand the associated physical
phenomenon. Little amount of gas into the system does not affect the inlet flow patterns
and behavior of the flow in the nozzle. However, when the fluids reach the LLCC body,
and as a result of the vortex forces produced by the swirling phenomenon, gas is attached
to the oil and the water phases. The gas gets attached mainly to the oil, reducing its
density. This causes lower drag between the oil droplets and the continuous water-phase,
causing an improvement in the separation efficiency. The water density is also affected,
because some part of the gas is attached to the water phase.
At the LLCC inlet, the gas phase splits, whereby part of the gas flows upwards
into the upper LLCC part and the other part flows downwards into the lower LLCC part.
Using experimental data, Contreras (2002) developed correlations for the gas void
fraction in the oil phase (α
G(o)
) and in the water phase (α
G(w)
) in the underflow of the
LLCC, as follows:
Fgl GVF Fgl
Vsl Vsg
Vsg
o G
=
+
=
) (
α (3.52)
) 1 ( ) 1 (
) (
Fgl GVF Fgl
Vsl Vsg
Vsg
w G
− = −
+
= α (3.53)
Next the densities of the oil and water phases (with the attached gas) are,
respectively:
) ( ) (
mod
) 1 (
o G g o G o o
α ρ α ρ ρ + − = (3.54)
) ( ) (
mod
) 1 (
w G g w G w w
α ρ α ρ ρ + − = (3.55)
The GVF is the inlet gas void fraction and Fgl is a factor determined


44
experimentally, which depends on the inlet watercut, as shown in Table 3.1.
This model is able to describe the phenomenon when the LLCC works with small
amount of gas, up to the maximum efficiency point of the LLCC. Beyond this point, a
behavior reversal occurs and the LLCC efficiency decreases. The LLCC model with gas
does not describe this reversal process. However, the description of this process is not
critical, because the LLCC under these conditions is not efficient.
Table 3.1 Values of Empirical Factor, Fgl
Inlet Watercut
%
Fgl
60-75 0.58
75-85 0.54
>85 0.53

GVF Effect on LLCC Performance:
The effect of the gas void fraction on the LLCC performance was studied by
Contreras (2002), reporting results like those shown in Figure 3.9. This demonstrates that
for a fixed watercut introduced to the LLCC, the presence of gas improves the separation
efficiency of the equipment until reaching a maximum point where the effect of
additional gas drops the efficiency until the stage where the separator performance
deteriorates drastically.
Based on the experimental data a correlation is proposed in order to capture this
phenomenon. This correlation establishes the relationship between the underflow
watercut and the split ratio for different GVF values.
( ) % exp % SR B A WC ⋅ ⋅ = (3.56)
where A & B are functions of the GVF%, given by


45
A = -1.739E-01*GVF%
2
+ 1.521E+00*GVF% + 1.481E+02
B = 2.161E-06*GVF%
3
- 4.585E-05*GVF%
2
+ 2.779E-04*GVF% - 8.403E-03

Vsl=0.8 ft/sec Inlet Wcut=60%
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
0 20 40 60 80 100
SR(%)
W
c
u
t
(
%
)
No Gas 1.10%
3.00% 5.00%
8.00% 12.00%
15.00%

Figure 3.9 GVF Effect on the LLCC Split Ratio for 60% Inlet Watercut

It is important to notice that this correlation requires further development since
effects such as LLCC inlet watecut and LLCC geometry are not considered. Figure 3.10
presents the prediction of the developed correlation, which follows the physical
phenomenon.
Using the proposed correlation, Block 8 of the LLCC control loop can be replaced
by one transfer function, which depends not only on the split ratio but also on the gas
void fraction.

( ) B SR B A
SR
WC
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ =


% exp
%
%
(3.57)


46
SR% in LLCC
correlation prediction
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
0 5 10 15 20
GVF%
S
R
%
SR%

Figure 3.10 Prediction of LLCC Split Ratio as a Function of the GVF
for 60% Inlet Watercut

The values obtained using equation 3.56 are between 0.4 and 1.0. Although this
correlation was developed for LLCC inlet watercut of 60%, the correction for the
watercut to split ratio gain for other inlet watercuts should not make a significant
difference in the analysis of the system.

GVF Effect on LLCC Control System Stability:
As a consequence of the modification in the LLCC control loop due to the new
split ratio to watercut transfer function (equation 3.56), the root-locus stability map
should be re-evaluated in order to make sure that the control strategy developed is still
stable in the presence of gas. For split ratios from 30 to 100% and for GVF from 0 to
17% the value of this transfer function (gain) oscillates between 0.9672 and 0.4154. The


47
result of the root locus for this range is shown in Figure 3.11 where the arrows indicate
the trajectory covered by the different values.


Figure 3.11 Root Locus Plot for LLCC with Gas

It is clear that for the range studied, the system remains stable in the presence of
gas and under the 40% overshoot region.

3.3 GLCC / LLCC System
Founded on the developments through the years of the GLCC and LLCC
technologies, the next step is to combine both separators as a three-phase separation
system.



48
3.3.1 GLCC / LLCC Separation System
As a first approach, it was proposed to connect the GLCC and the LLCC with the
control strategies proposed by Wang (2000) and Mathiravedu (2001), as shown in Figure
3.12.
Starcut
DP
G
a
s

/

O
i
l

/

W
a
t
e
r
G
a
s

/

O
i
l

/

W
a
t
e
r
Gas Gas
Free Water Free Water
Oil Rich Oil Rich
Starcut
DP
Starcut
DP DP
G
a
s

/

O
i
l

/

W
a
t
e
r
G
a
s

/

O
i
l

/

W
a
t
e
r
Gas Gas
Free Water Free Water
Oil Rich Oil Rich

Figure 3.12 Initial GLCC / LLCC System Approach
However, after some experiments with gas and an oil-water mixture through the
GLCC, it was found that the fluid shearing in the liquid leg of the GLCC compromised
the performance of the LLCC located downstream. The main source of this shearing is


49
the valve located between the GLCC and the LLCC. Therefore, it was proposed to
control the GLCC only by means of the gas control valve, as shown in Figure 3.13. By
doing so, not only was the effect of the shearing due to the liquid control valve
eliminated, but also that the LLCC could take advantage of the pre-coalescing effect
created by the GLCC in the oil-water mixture.
Starcut
DP
G
a
s

/

O
i
l

/

W
a
t
e
r
G
a
s

/

O
i
l

/

W
a
t
e
r
Gas Gas
Free Water Free Water
Oil Rich Oil Rich
Starcut
DP
Starcut
DP DP
G
a
s

/

O
i
l

/

W
a
t
e
r
G
a
s

/

O
i
l

/

W
a
t
e
r
Gas Gas
Free Water Free Water
Oil Rich Oil Rich

Figure 3.13 Current GLCC / LLCC System Configuration




50
3.3.2 Droplet Size Behavior Through Control Valves
As explained before, an accessory such as a valve could produce a dramatic
change in the two-phase mixture flowing from the GLCC to the LLCC, even to the point
of creating an emulsion that is impossible to separate. Thus, previous research done in the
area of emulsion formation in valves and orifice plates is applied to this particular case.
Janssen (2001) studied this problem based on the work from Hinze (1955) deriving an
expression for the maximum droplet diameter:
5
2
5
3
5
3
max


|
|
.
|

\
|
⋅ = ε
ρ
σ
c
crit
We d (3.58)
where We
crit
is the Weber number of the maximum stable droplet:
|
|
.
|

\
|
+


=
2
3
24
2
c
d
crit
We
ρ
ρ
π
(3.59)
The average amount of energy that is being dissipated per time and mass unit can be
estimated by:
dis
o perm
L
U P

⋅ ∆

ρ
ε (3.60)
where,
U
o
: average fluid velocity through the restriction
∆P
perm
: permanent pressure drop
L
dis
: length of the dissipation zone
Using this model and equation 3.3, which describes the flow through a control
valve, one can analyze how the closing-opening action of a liquid control valve will
affect the oil droplets dispersed in water.


51
For a perturbation of ∆Q
gas
= -0.5 ft
3
/s and ∆Q
liquid
= 0.06 ft
3
/s, using the
differential model implemented by Wang (2000) with the purpose of controlling the
liquid level in the GLCC, the results of the valve action on the droplet size distribution
can be observed in Figures 3.14 and 3.15. For the given perturbation, LCV position and
pressure drop are plotted as a function of time in Figure 3.14 and the droplet size is
plotted as a function of time in Figure 3.15.
LCV position and Pressure Drop
through LCV
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0
t (s)
L
C
V

p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n

(
%
)
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
0.40
0.45
0.50
0.55
D
P

(
p
s
i
d
)
LCV
DP

Figure 3.14 LCV Position and Pressure Drop in Control Valve

While the control valve is closing, the shearing applied to the oil-water mixture
flowing through the valve is increased. As a consequence, the droplet size of the oil
dispersed in water is reduced up to 60% of its original size, as shown in Figure 3.15.
Hence, it is desirable to eliminate the usage of LCV between the GLCC and the LLCC.


)



52
Droplet Size after a Control Valve
300
350
400
450
500
550
600
650
0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0
t (s)
D
r
o
p
l
e
t

S
i
z
e

(
m
i
c
r
o
n
s
)
dpmax

Figure 3.15 Maximum Droplet Size Downstream of a Control Valve


3.3.3 Pressure Losses Between GLCC and LLCC
Calculation of the pressure losses of a two-phase mixture can be a complex task,
depending on the model used. Considering the pressure losses between the GLCC and the
LLCC in the dynamic models, a simplification has been made. A non-slip homogeneous
flow of two incompressible liquids (oil and water) is assumed. This led to simplifications
to use average properties, such as density and viscosity, for the mixture. Therefore, based
on the continuity and momentum equations the pressure losses can be computed as
shown below:
( ) ( ) 0 = ⋅ ⋅


+ ⋅


m m m
V A
x
A
t
ρ ρ (3.61)
obtaining, 0 =


x
V
m



53
x
P
A A g S
x
V
A
t
V
A
m m
m
m
m
m


⋅ − ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ − ⋅ − =


⋅ ⋅ +


⋅ ⋅ β ρ τ ρ ρ sin
2

finally obtaining,
A
A g S
t
V
A
x
P
m m
m
m
|
.
|

\
|
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ + ⋅ +


⋅ ⋅ −
=


β ρ τ ρ sin
(3.62)
where,
A = area of the pipe
S = perimeter of the pipe
V
m
= mixture velocity
β = angle of inclination of the pipe
ρ
m
= mixture density
µ
m
= mixture viscosity
τ
m
= sheer stress of the mixture against the pipe wall

3.3.4 GLCC / LLCC Control System
Integration of the system based on the models for the GLCC and LLCC, requires
a more realistic approach, in which a “common” vector is defined in order to transmit all
the information of each system from one separator to the other. This vector would share
the same format for every pipeline containing information, such as flow rates, pressure
and continuous-phase of oil and water mixture. A diagram of this vector is shown in
Figure 3.16. The “Emulsion” variable has a value of 1 for a water-continuous system and
0 for an oil-continuous system.




54
Qoil
Qwater
Qgas
Qsolids
Emulsion
Pressure
Qoil
Qwater
Qgas
Qsolids
Emulsion
Pressure

Figure 3.16 Common Vector for Each Pipeline

Simulator Development
Since the method of describing the system as real as possible is desired, the
approach of expressing the results of the simulations in terms of absolute values is easier
to understand and more likely to capture the process performance for situations such as
different set points, start-up operations and other transient circumstances. The control
models developed previously by Wang (2000), and Mathiravedu (2001) were expressed
in terms of deviation variables, which require converting the results from the differential
models into absolute values. The absolute (realistic) input vector is also, required to be
expressed in appropriate terms that the differential models would recognize.
The simulator was built using Matlab/Simulink
®
organized in modules and
subsystems, as shown below.
Simulator Structure:
• Input vector module
• Properties vector module
• GLCC module
- GLCC control subsystem
- GLCC liquid carry-over subsystem


55
- GLCC gas carry-under subsystem
• GLCC/LLCC pressure losses module
• LLCC module
- LLCC control subsystem
- Complementary LLCC subsystems
• Results Displays
The main structure of the simulator is shown in Figure 3.17. The respective
models required for the GLCC and the LLCC are “inside” of each separator subsystem. It
can be seen that the GLCC module has an input for the liquid level set point and the
LLCC model has an input for the underflow watercut set point. Additionally, there is a
block calculating the required GLCC liquid level set point for a specific gas void fraction
in the liquid leg.

+
Figure 3.17 GLCC / LLCC System Simulator
5
6



57
• Input vector module
In this module, all the input variables can be modified in order to study the
performance of a system under different perturbations. The step functions can be
replaced by other functions to reproduce a desired pattern. This module is shown in
Figure 3.18.

Figure 3.18 Input Vector Module




58
• Properties vector module
This vector shown in Figure 3.19, accounts for all the different densities of the
fluids to be considered. In this case, the input is the specific gravity.

Figure 3.19 Properties Vector Module


• GLCC module
As shown in Figure 3.20, this module contains the GLCC liquid level control, the
gas carry-under and the liquid carry-over subsystems.

Figure 3.20 GLCC Model Subsystem

5
9

- GLCC control subsystem

Figure 3.21 GLCC Level Control Subsystem
6
0



61
The GLCC level control subsystem, seen in Figure 3.21, is based on the strategies
developed by Wang (2000) for the liquid level control using a gas control valve. This
model is a differential model, so the GLCC module has to provide the input values
properly.
- GLCC liquid carry-over subsystem
The liquid carry-over subsystem, shown in Figure 3.22, contains basically the
equations developed by Ishii and Mishima (1989) considering that the gas is capable of
carrying droplets of water and droplets of oil through the GLCC gas outlet. (Equation
3.38).

Figure 3.22 GLCC Liquid Carry-over Subsystem



62
- GLCC gas carry-under subsystem
The GLCC Gas Carry-Under subsystem displayed in Figure 3.23 calculates the
gas void fraction in the liquid leg of the GLCC based on the work presented by Marrelli
et al. (2000). (Equation 3.37).

Figure 3.23 GLCC Gas Carry-under Subsystem


• GLCC/LLCC pressure losses module
The pressure losses module, shown in Figure 3.24, represents the calculation of
the frictional losses based on the momentum equation for the mixture flowing from the
GLCC through the liquid leg into the LLCC.






63

Figure 3.24 GLCC/LLCC Pressure Losses Subsystem

• LLCC module
The LLCC module represented in Figure 3.25 handles the watercut control
subsystem, and the LLCC auxiliary subsystems such as the LLCC Split ratio GVF
dependant subsystem, gas in LLCC underflow subsystem and continuous-phase
detectors. The LLCC module not only integrates these subsystems, but also provides the
input to the watercut control subsystem.



Figure 3.25 LLCC Model Subsystem
6
4



- LLCC control subsystem

Figure 3.26 LLCC Watercut Control Subsystem





6
5



66
The LLCC control subsystem shown in Figure 3.26 is based on the work of
Mathiravedu (2001). The split ratio to watercut block is modified to account for the effect
of gas on the LLCC performance.
- Complementary LLCC subsystems
The LLCC split ratio to watercut subsystem shown in Figure 3.27 incorporates the
correlation proposed in this study to capture the separation efficiencies as function of gas
void fraction.

Figure 3.27 LLCC Split Ratio to watercut Subsystem

The gas in LLCC underflow subsystem displayed in Figure 3.28 contains the
correlations developed by Contreras (2002) with the purpose of quantifying the amount
of gas in the underflow of the LLCC.


67

Figure 3.28 Gas in LLCC Underflow Subsystem

The continuous-phase detector shown in Figure 3.29, is a logical operator that
gives a value of 1 for a water-continuous mixture and 0 for an oil-continuous mixture.
This block depends on the watercut of the mixture. It requires the water to oil inversion
point and the oil to water inversion point since this phenomenon presents a hysteresis
effect.

Figure 3.29 Continuous-Phase Detector


• Results Displays
Displays are available for input and output vectors of the separators, as shown in
Figure 3.30. Also, other displays are available for important parameters, such as the
GLCC liquid level and the LLCC underflow watercut.





68
GLCC inlet LLCC underflow LLCC overflow

Figure 3.30 GLCC/LLCC Simulator Results Displays

Simulation Results
With the intention of testing the models for the GLCC and the LLCC in absolute
values, three kind of simulations were run, including:
i) GLCC/LLCC system for different GLCC liquid level setpoints
ii) GLCC/LLCC system for different LLCC underflow watercut setpoints
iii) GLCC/LLCC system for different inlet flowrates

The controller settings used for all these simulations, as defined below, are
specified in Table 3.2.


p
K P =
i
p
i
K
K
T =
p
d
d
K
K
T =
(3.63, 3.64, 3.65)


69
Table 3.2 PID Settings for GLCC and LLCC Controllers During Simulations
GLCC Settings LLCC Settings
P 0.1100 Kp 0.1100 P 1.6500 Kp 1.6500
I (s
-1
) 0.0300 Ti (min) 0.0611 I (s
-1
) 0.9500 Ti (min) 0.0289
D (s) 0.1000 Td (min) 0.0152 D (s) 0.0000 Td (min) 0.0000

i) GLCC/LLCC system for different GLCC liquid level setpoints:
The main purpose of this simulation is to see the performance of the GLCC liquid
level control for different liquid level setpoints and its effects on the downstream system.
For this reason, a set of different liquid level setpoints was chosen as the input to the
system while keeping the input flowrates constant. These perturbations are shown in
Figure 3.31.
Liq. Level setpoint in GLCC
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
0.0 20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0 100.0
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
f
t
)
3.0-3.33-3.0
3.0-3.75-3.0
3.0-2.5-3.0
3.0-2.083-3.0
liq. Level setpoint

Figure 3.31 GLCC Liquid Level Setpoints Induced

For the changes of the liquid level setpoint as a perturbation, the control system
responds to all the cases studied. However, the overshoot is larger as the change in the
setpoint increases, reaching values up to 15% for the 3.0 to 2.083 ft liquid level setpoint.
This can be observed in Figure 3.32.


70
Liq. Level in GLCC
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
4.5
0.0 20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0 100.0
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
f
t
)
3.0-3.33-3.0
3.0-3.75-3.0
3.0-2.5-3.0
3.0-2.083-3.0
liq. Level setpoint

Figure 3.32 Actual GLCC Liquid Level for Setpoints Induced

The different liquid levels presented in the GLCC, as a consequence of the
perturbations, produce different amounts of gas carried in the underflow of GLCC, as
seen in Figure 3.33.
GVF in GLCC underflow
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
0.0 20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0 100.0
t (s)
G
V
F

(
%
)
3.0-3.33-3.0
3.0-3.75-3.0
3.0-2.5-3.0
3.0-2.083-3.0
liq. Level setpoint

Figure 3.33 GLCC Underflow GVF for Liquid Level Setpoints Induced



71
Split Ratio in LLCC
(Q
underflow
/Q
inlet
)
40.0
45.0
50.0
55.0
60.0
65.0
70.0
0.0 20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0
t (s)
S
R

(
%
)
3.0-3.33-3.0
3.0-3.75-3.0
3.0-2.5-3.0
3.0-2.083-3.0
liq. Level setpoint

Figure 3.34 LLCC Split Ratio for Liquid Level Setpoints Induced

Thus, the gas carry-under in the liquid leg of the GLCC is sent to next stage, the
LLCC, affecting its performance. Even if the controlled variable in the LLCC (the
underflow watercut) remains constant, the split ratio oscillates due to the change in the
LLCC efficiency for different gas void fractions, as seen in Figure 3.34.

Even though the split ratio behavior is different for each of the cases studied
above, the response of the watercut control system is very similar. The response is
demonstrated in Figure 3.35. This result is due to the adjustments of the liquid flowrate
coming out of the GLCC for each change in liquid level setpoint.




72
Water Cut in LLCC (underflow)
70.0
75.0
80.0
85.0
90.0
95.0
100.0
20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0
t (s)
w
c

(
%
)
wc (%)

Figure 3.35 Watercut in LLCC (underflow)

ii) GLCC/LLCC system for different LLCC underflow watercut setpoints:
It is also important to verify the sensitivity of the GLCC/LLCC system for
changes in the LLCC underflow watercut setpoint. These changes mainly affect the
operation of the LLCC. The changes induced in the LLCC underflow watercut setpoint
are displayed in Figure 3.36.


73
Water Cut setpoint in LLCC (underflow)
90.0
91.0
92.0
93.0
94.0
95.0
96.0
97.0
98.0
99.0
100.0
15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0
t (s)
w
c

(
%
)
97-98-97
97-99-97
97-92-97
wc% setpoint

Figure 3.36 LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoints Induced

The outcome of the LLCC control system is presented in Figure 3.37. All the watercut
setpoints were successfully achieved, while the major overshoot in the response of the
system was for the largest change in the input setpoint.
Water Cut in LLCC (underflow)
90.0
91.0
92.0
93.0
94.0
95.0
96.0
97.0
98.0
99.0
100.0
15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0
t (s)
w
c

(
%
)
97-98-97
97-99-97
97-92-97
wc% setpoint

Figure 3.37 Actual LLCC Underflow Watercuts for Setpoints Induced


74
Split Ratio in LLCC
(Q
underflow
/Q
inlet
)
40.0
45.0
50.0
55.0
60.0
65.0
70.0
15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0
t (s)
S
R

(
%
)
97-98-97
97-99-97
97-92-97
wc% setpoint

Figure 3.38 LLCC Split Ratio for Watercut Setpoints Induced

The behavior of the LLCC split ratio is the expected one as the lowest split ratio is
achieved for the highest underflow watercut setpoint, as shown in Figure 3.38.

iii) GLCC/LLCC system for different inlet flowrates:
After investigating the sensitivity of the control systems with respect to their
setpoints, simulations are carried out to test the field application for which the system is
intended to be used. For this, the setpoints of the GLCC and the LLCC remain constant
while introducing changes in the gas and water inlet flowrates, keeping the oil flowrate
constant, as shown in Figures 3.39 and 3.40. These perturbations allow creating, first, a
perturbation in the gas-liquid mixture flowing into the GLCC activating the liquid level
control system. At the same time, the change in the water flowrate produces a change in
the liquid watercut, which eventually reaches the LLCC, activating the watercut control


75
system. The different changes in the water flowrates define the cases 1 to 3 as seen in
Figure 3.40.
GLCC liquid level setpoint = 3 ft.
LLCC underflow watercut setpoint = 97%
Gas and Oil in GLCC
0.0E+00
5.0E-02
1.0E-01
1.5E-01
2.0E-01
2.5E-01
3.0E-01
3.5E-01
0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0
t (s)
G
a
s

i
n

(
f
t
3
/
s
)
0.0E+00
1.0E-03
2.0E-03
3.0E-03
4.0E-03
5.0E-03
6.0E-03
7.0E-03
8.0E-03
9.0E-03
1.0E-02
O
i
l

i
n

(
f
t
3
/
s
)
Qgas (f t3/s)
Qoil (f t3/s)

Figure 3.39 GLCC Gas and Oil Flowrates Induced


Water in GLCC
0.0E+00
5.0E-03
1.0E-02
1.5E-02
2.0E-02
2.5E-02
3.0E-02
3.5E-02
0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0
t (s)
W
a
t
e
r

i
n

(
f
t
3
/
s
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Figure 3.40 GLCC Water Flowrates Induced


76
The dynamic response of the system for these perturbations, while controlling the
GLCC liquid level, is shown in Figure 3.41. It can be seen that the case with the largest
overshoot is Case 1, which presents the smallest change in the liquid flowrate of the three
cases studied. The change in the gas flowrate is the same for all cases. Based on this
observation, since both perturbations are in the same direction (increasing), it is clear that
the liquid flowrate change actually helps to compensate the perturbation introduced by
the change in the gas flowrate.
Liq. Level in GLCC
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.9
3.0
3.1
3.2
0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
f
t
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Figure 3.41 GLCC Liquid Level for Different Water Flowrates Induced

Since Case 1 reaches the lowest GLCC liquid level, this results in the highest gas
void fraction carried in the liquid leg into the LLCC, as seen in Figure 3.42. The variation
in the gas content in the oil-water mixture leads to changes in the performance of the
LLCC, as can be appreciated in Figure 3.43.


77
GVF in GLCC underflow
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2.0
0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0
t (s)
G
V
F

(
%
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Figure 3.42 GLCC Underflow GVF for Different Water Flowrates Induced

Split Ratio in LLCC
(Q
underflow
/Q
inlet
)
50.0
51.0
52.0
53.0
54.0
55.0
56.0
57.0
58.0
59.0
60.0
0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0
t (s)
S
R

(
%
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Figure 3.43 LLCC Split Ratio for Different Water Flowrates Induced



78
The controlled variable in the LLCC, the underflow watercut, undertakes the
largest overshoot for Case 3, as this case presents the most important change in the
mixture watercut. This is shown in Figure 3.44.
Water Cut in LLCC (underflow)
75.0
80.0
85.0
90.0
95.0
100.0
10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0
t (s)
w
c

(
%
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Figure 3.44 LLCC Underflow Watercut for Different Water Flowrates Induced

3.4 Additional GLCC and LLCC Simulations
Given that the dynamic models for the GLCC and LLCC have already been
developed for absolute values of the control variable, there are other situations that can be
studied without any significant additional effort. These situations include operations such
as start-up, shut down and also the set of separation systems composed of multiple stages.
In this study, examples of such applications are shown next, including: GLCC start-up,
LLCC start-up and a two-stage LLCC separation system, both stages with underflow
watercut control.



79
3.4.1 GLCC Start-Up

Figure 3.45 GLCC Start-up Simulator

The start-up operation of the GLCC can be monitored mainly by the build up of
liquid level starting from zero to the desired final GLCC liquid level setpoint. The major
challenge is how to perform this operation successfully and safely. Different scenarios
can be studied, including increments in the gas-liquid flowrates for a fixed liquid level
setpoint, or increments in the liquid level setpoint for a fixed gas-liquid flowrates. The
last option is studied and presented next. For that, different approaches about how to
change the liquid level setpoint from zero to its final value are proposed, as seen in
Figure 3.46.





80
Liq. Level setpoint in GLCC
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
0.0 20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0 100.0
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
f
t
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3
Case 4

Figure 3.46 GLCC Liquid Level Setpoint Inputs

For these moving setpoints, it can be seen that for the sudden change, imposed by
Case 1, the response of the system is a large overshoot (40%). However, while reducing
the slope of the setpoint changes, the overshoot in the liquid level is reduced producing
smooth operations, as shown in Figure 3.47.
Liq. Level in GLCC
-0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
4.5
0.0 20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0 100.0
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
f
t
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3
Case 4

Figure 3.47 Actual GLCC Liquid Level for Different Setpoint Inputs


81
GVF in GLCC underflow
0.0
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
30.0
0.0 20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0 100.0
t (s)
G
V
F

(
%
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3
Case 4

Figure 3.48 GLCC Underflow GVF for Different Setpoint Inputs

Although Case 4 seems to be the best option for the GLCC start-up, as it is the
case with the lowest overshoot in the liquid level, the results for the GVF in the GLCC
underflow shows a disadvantage of doing this, as seen on Figure 3.48. While increasing
the time where the GLCC is operated with a low liquid level, the amount of gas carried
under through the liquid lines can reach considerable values. In Case 3 it takes 20
seconds to reduce the GVF below 20%, but in Case 4 it takes over 30 seconds to reach
the same point. It is known that even small amount of gas are capable of disturbing the
function of instrumentation connected downstream of the GLCC, hence low liquid level
operations should be avoided.





Figure 3.49 LLCC Start-up Simulator

8
2



83
3.4.2 LLCC Start-Up
The LLCC start-up procedure is very important as well. The LLCC start up
simulator is shown in Figure 3.49. Thus, different actions as shown in Figure 3.50 were
studied. These actions change the LLCC underflow watercut setpoint from the inlet
watercut to the final watercut setpoint.
LLCC underflow watercut setpoint
60.0
65.0
70.0
75.0
80.0
85.0
90.0
95.0
100.0
10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0
t (s)
w
c

(
%
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3
Case 4
Case 5

Figure 3.50 LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoint Inputs

As can be seen in Figure 3.51, the final watercut setpoint can be reached at
different rates of change of the watercut setpoint. However, the fastest the change in the
setpoint is done, the higher the chances are that the watercut reaches a value of 100%. If
the overshoot were too large, the LLCC would be operating at efficiencies lower than the
optimal split ratio.



84
LLCC underflow watercut
60.0
65.0
70.0
75.0
80.0
85.0
90.0
95.0
100.0
10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0
t (s)
w
c

(
%
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3
Case 4
Case 5

Figure 3.51 Actual LLCC Underflow Watercut for Different Setpoint Inputs

3.4.3 Two-Stage LLCC
The Two-Stage LLCC system is intended to produce an oil rich overflow and a high
watercut in the underflow (above 90%) from the first stage and then take this high
watercut mixture into a second stage LLCC. The second stage concentrates the high
watercut mixture producing an underflow close to 100% watercut. In this particular case
the first LLCC has 97% watercut setpoint and the second stage 99% watercut setpoint in
the underflow. Figure 3.52 shows the 2-stage LLCC simulator and Figure 3.53 shows the
perturbation introduced to the system while changing the inlet watercut.


85

Figure 3.52 Two-Stage LLCC Simulator




86
Water and Oil in LLCC
0.0E+00
5.0E-03
1.0E-02
1.5E-02
2.0E-02
2.5E-02
3.0E-02
3.5E-02
0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0
t (s)
F
l
o
w
r
a
t
e
s

i
n

(
f
t
3
/
s
)
Qoil (f t3/s)
Qwat (f t3/s)

Figure 3.53 Input Flowrates into Two-Stage LLCC System

Figures 3.54 and 3.55 present the effect of the control systems in the first and
second LLCC, respectively. While in the first stage LLCC only one main control action is
seen, in the second stage LLCC two control actions are observed. This is due first to the
instantaneous change in the flowrates, as both fluids are incompressible. The second
control action in the second stage LLCC is executed when the mixture with a different
watercut reaches the second stage, the time difference between the first and second action
depends on the length of the pipe connecting both devices.


87
LLCC1 underflow watercut
70.0
75.0
80.0
85.0
90.0
95.0
100.0
0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0
t (s)
w
c

(
%
)
wc1 (%)

Figure 3.54 First Stage LLCC Underflow Watercut

LLCC2 underflow watercut
70.0
75.0
80.0
85.0
90.0
95.0
100.0
0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0
t (s)
w
c

(
%
)
wc2 (%)

Figure 3.55 Second Stage LLCC Underflow Watercut


The overflow watercut and the watercut at the inlet of the second stage LLCC
(underflow of first stage LLCC) are shown in Figure 3.56. It is clear that the watercut in
the overflow of the first LLCC is oil-continuous flow for the initial seconds of the


88
simulation. Later on, the fluid is in the water-continuous flow but still is close to the oil-
continuous region. As has been reported by Mathiravedu (2001), the operation of the
LLCC for oil-continuous mixtures (low watercut) is inadequate. This is why for this
particular case the second stage works better operating with the underflow of the first
LLCC (a high watercut mixture). For other operations where the first stage LLCC is
separating high watercut mixtures, the second stage can use the overflow of the first stage
as long as the watercut remains inside the operational envelope of the LLCC.
LLCC 1 & 2 watercuts
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
70.0
80.0
90.0
100.0
0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0
t (s)
w
c

(
%
) LLCC1 top
LLCC2 inlet
LLCC2 top

Figure 3.56 First and Second Stage LLCC Overflow Watercut and
Second Stage LLCC Inlet Watercut




89
LLCC1 & LLCC2 Split Ratio
(Q
underflow
/Q
inlet
)
30.0
35.0
40.0
45.0
50.0
55.0
60.0
0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0
t (s)
S
R

(
%
)
LLCC1
LLCC2

Figure 3.57 First and Second Stage LLCC Split Ratios

As a final point, the split ratio of the second stage LLCC is lower than the split
ratio of the first stage. This is expected since the change in the inlet/underflow watercut is
much larger in the first stage than in the second. This is shown in Figure 3.57.

90
4. EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM



This chapter describes the experimental facility and the watercut meters. It also
provides description of detailed experimental investigations that were conducted to
evaluate the performance and dynamics of the GLCC/LLCC system and pertinent
experimental results.

4.1 Experimental Setup
The three-phase oil-water-gas flow loop is housed in the College of Engineering
and Natural Sciences Research building located at the North Campus of The University
of Tulsa. This indoor facility enables experimental investigations to be conducted
throughout the year. The oil-water-gas indoor flow facility is a fully instrumented state-
of-the-art flow loop, capable of testing single separation equipment or combined
separation systems. Figure 4.1 shows a photograph of the oil-water-gas experimental
facility. The experimental setup consists of four major sections: storage and metering
section, GLCC test section, LLCC test section, oil-water-gas separation section and data
acquisition system. A brief description of these components is presented next.

4.1.1 Storage and Metering Section
As shown in Figure 4.2, oil and water are stored in separate tanks, each of 400
gallons capacity. Each tank is connected to two pumps that are equipped with return
lines. The first pump is a model 3656, size 1x2-8, of cast iron construction with a bronze
impeller, John Crane Type 21 mechanical seal, and 10 HP motor rotating at 3600 rpm. It
91
delivers 25 gpm @ 108 psig. The second pump is a model 3656, size 1.5x2-10, of cast
iron construction with a bronze impeller, John Crane Type 21 mechanical seal, and 25 HP
motor rotating at 3600 rpm. It delivers 110 gpm at 150 psig.


Figure 4.1 Experimental Facility

The liquids are pumped from the storage section to the metering section where the
flow rates, densities and temperatures are measured. The metering section comprises of
pressure transducers, temperature transducers, control valves and state-of-the-art
Micromotion
®
coriolis mass flow meters. The water and oil flow rates are controlled
using Fisher control valves mounted on the water and oil lines, respectively. Both the
water and oil pipelines have check valves mounted on the lines downstream of the control
valves to avoid back flow. The flow rates and densities of both water and oil are
measured using the Micromotion
®
mass flow meter, before controlling their flow rates.
The oil and water are combined in a mixing-tee to obtain oil-water mixture. A static
92
mixer, parallel to the mixing tee, is added to promote proper mixing of the two liquids. A
compressor with working capacity of 0-1200 scfm at a delivery pressure of 100 psig is
used to supply compressed air for operating the control valves. The compressor also
supplies the air to the flow loop. The airflow rate is controlled by a gas control valve and
metered using a Micromotion mass flow meter. The air and liquid streams are combined
at a mixing tee. Check valves, located downstream of each feeder line, are provided to
prevent back flow.

Figure 4.2 Storage And Metering Section

4.1.2 Test Section
Figure 4.3 shows the GLCC

test section. The GLCC

body is a 3-inch transparent
PVC pipe with a modular 3-inch inclined tangential inlet. The inlet slot area is 25% of the
cross section area of the inlet pipe. The total height of the GLCC is 7 feet, which is
divided by the inlet into the lower liquid section and the upper gas section. A differential
pressure transducer is mounted on the GLCC to measure the liquid level. A gas control
93
valve is mounted in the gas leg to control the liquid level. An absolute pressure
transducer is used to measure the GLCC gas pressure.
DP
G G
a a
s s

/ /

O O
i i
l l

/ /

W W
a a
t t
e e
r r

G Ga as s
G GC CV V
O Oi il l / / W Wa at te er r + + G GC CU U
o All units in
inches.
o Not to scale.
Top View
2.0
3.0
2.0
2.0
30
40

Figure 4.3 GLCC Test Section

The LLCC, shown schematically in Figure 4.4, is a 6.4 feet, 2-inch ID vertical
pipe, with a 5 feet, 2-inch ID horizontal inlet. The inlet slot area is 25% of the inlet full
bore cross sectional area. The inlet is attached to the vertical section 3.3 feet below the
top. A 1.5-inch ID concentric pipe located at the top is used as the oil outlet, and the
water outlet is a radial, 1.5-inch ID pipe located at the bottom of the vertical section.
94
Starcut
Micromotion
wcCV
Oil
rich
Oil / Water
Inlet Mixture
Water
leg
Top View
2.0
2.0
1.5
1.5
43
37
o All units in
inches.
o Not to scale.

Figure 4.4 LLCC Test Section


A temperature sensor is located at the inlet and an absolute pressure sensor is
located at each outlet. Sampling ports are provided on each outlet, as well as the inlet.
Valves in both the oil outlet and the water outlet allow the control of the flow rates
leaving the separator, namely, the split ratio. A photograph of the LLCC test section in
place is shown in Figure 4.5.

Free
Water
95

Figure 4.5 Photo of LLCC Test Section in Place


4.1.3 Gas-Oil-Water Separation Section
The gas outlet from the GLCC and the two outlet streams from the LLCC test
section finally flow into a three-phase separator. The three-phase separator operates at 5
psig and has a capacity of 528 gallons. It consists of three compartments. In the first
compartment the oil-water mixture is stratified and the oil flows into the second
compartment through floatation. In this compartment, there is a level control system that
activates a control valve discharging the oil into the oil storage tank. The water flows
from the first compartment into the third compartment through a channel below the
second compartment. In this compartment there is a level control system, allowing the
water to flow into the storage tank. The gas is separated in the 3-phase separator as is
discharged through a separate outlet.
96
4.1.4 Data Acquisition System
Three control valves are mounted in the gas, oil and water pipelines, to control
inlet gas, oil and water flow rates, respectively. The experimental loop is equipped with
various metering devices, pressure transducers and temperature transducers. All output
signals from the sensors, transducers and metering devices are collected at a central
panel. A "virtual instrument" (V.I.) interface is developed, using the LabVIEW
®

application program. It integrates measurements, data acquisition, and interactive data
processing and analysis for the feedback control, and data and results display. It provides
accurate and interactive control and display of measured and analyzed variables. The
control of all functions and data acquisition settings is conveniently provided through the
virtual instrument's "front-panel" interface.
The LabVIEW
®
application program provides variable sampling rates. In this
study, the sampling rate was set at 5 Hz for all measurements. A regular calibration
procedure, employing a high-precision pressure pump, is performed on each pressure
transducer at a regular schedule, to guarantee the precision of measurements. The
temperature transducer consists of a Resistive Temperature Detector (RTD) sensor and an
electronic transmitter module.

4.1.5 Working Fluids
The working fluids used in this study are tap water and mineral oil. A red colored
dye was added to the mineral oil in order to improve flow visualization between the
phases. It is marketed by a local company (Tulco Oils Inc.). Other typical properties of
the working fluids are shown in Table 4.1 and Table 4.2.
97
Table 4.1 Properties of Water Phase
Density, ρ 1.0 ± 0.003 gr/cm
3

Viscosity, µ 1.35 ± 0.15 cP

Table 4.2 Properties of Oil Phase
Typical Properties ASTM Test Method Tufflo 6016
Viscosity, SUS
@ 100ºF ( 37.8ºC)
@ 200ºF ( 93.3ºC)

D2161

85
38
Viscosity, cP
@ 100ºF ( 37.8ºC)
@ 200ºF ( 93.3ºC)

13.6
2.8
Viscosity, cSt
@ 104ºF (40ºC)

D 445

15.6
Gravity, ºAPI
Specific Gravity @ 60ºF
Pounds/ Gallons
D 287
D1298
33.7
0.8571
7.14
Viscosity Gravity Constant
Flash Point, ºF (ºC)
Pour Point, ºF (ºC)
D 2501
D 92
D 97
0.81
365 (185)
10 (-12.2)
Aniline Point, ºF (ºC)
Refractive Index @ 20ºC
Molecular Weight
Volatility,22hrs@225ºF,wt%
D 611
D 1218
D 2502
D 972
225 (107.2)
1.469
330
2.0
Distillation, ºF
IBP
95 %
D 2887
535
832



98
The criteria for selecting the oil are as follows:
• Low emulsification
• Fast separation
• Appropriate optical characteristics
• Non-degrading properties
• Non-hazardous
The temperature in the flow loop varied between 70º F and 80º F during the entire
experimental investigation.

4.2 Watercut Measurement Performance in the Presence of Gas
Selecting proper test equipment for production testing is of primary importance if
the best possible results are to be obtained. The accurate measurement of water
concentration in an oil-water mixture is a critical issue in many production operations.
Conventional well testing requires a test trap, test lines and field personnel all of which
are costly. Over the past few years, emphasis has been placed on developing technology
for metering of multiphase wellhead fluids to replace conventional well test systems. The
oil industry has recognized potential for economical savings if dependable watercut
meters could replace conventional test separators, portable test units and well test lines.
The advantages are more significant for operations in offshore and remote onshore areas.
Several watercut meters have been introduced to the oil industry in the last few
years, for measuring oil and water concentrations. Particular concern is the ability of a
meter to provide accurate information for a wide range of flow conditions, such as in the
presence of gas. These meters use different techniques in order to measure the water
99
concentration in an oil-water mixture. In this study, two different watercut meters,
employing different principles, are used. This section provides information about the
meters, configurations, components and principles of operation. The two watercut meters
used in this study are:
a) Coriolis Mass Flow Meter (Micromotion
®
)
b) Microwave Watercut Meter (Starcut).

4.2.1 Coriolis Mass Flow Meter (Micromotion
®
)
A Coriolis device such as Micromotion
®
mass flow-meter, measures the mass
flow rate and mixture density. Thus, it simultaneously serves as both a flow meter and a
watercut analyzer. The major components of the meter are a sensor and a transmitter.
The orientation of a Micromotion mass flow meter is normally recommended by
the manufacturer, and it is based on the particular metering application. For liquid
metering, a tubes down installation is recommended to allow any entrained gas to be
easily moved out of the tube by buoyancy forces, even at low liquid flow rates. Figure 4.6
shows the experimental set-up of the Coriolis meter in the loop.
100

Figure 4.6 Coriolis Mass Flow Meter (Micromotion) in Flow Loop

4.2.2 Microwave Watercut Meter (Starcut)
Starcut watercut meter employs the principle of microwave to determine the water
concentration in a multiphase fluid stream over the entire range of 0 to 100%. Figure 4.7
shows a photograph of the Starcut Watercut meter. A slip-stream, taken from the main
flow line, with an upstream static mixer, is used for measurement of watercut. Detection
of watercut is accomplished using two types of microwave properties of the production
stream. They are,
a) Microwave Attenuation - It is the loss in power transmitted through the
sensor.
b) Phase Shift – It is the change in phase shift of the received sinusoidal
oscillating wave.
Micromotion
Mass Flow Meter
101

Figure 4.7 Microwave Watercut Meter (Starcut) in Flow Loop

Watercut meters validation:
In order to validate the readings from Starcut and Micromotion, a simple
experiment was conducted. Different watercuts were imposed in the flow loop while
using Starcut and Micromotion to measure watercut. At the same time, each inlet single-
phase liquid mass flowrate was measured using Micromotion. The results are shown
below in Figure 4.8 and Figure 4.9.

Starcut
Watercut
Meter
102
Micromotion vs. StarCut
0% gas
50
60
70
80
90
100
50 60 70 80 90 100
wc StarCut (%)
w
c

M
i
c
r
o
m
o
t
i
o
n

(
%
)
+ 5%
- 5%

Figure 4.8 Starcut Watercut Measurement Validation (50% to 100%)

Micromotion vs. StarCut
0% gas
90
92
94
96
98
100
90 92 94 96 98 100
wc StarCut (%)
w
c

M
i
c
r
o
m
o
t
i
o
n

(
%
)
+ 1%
- 1%

Figure 4.9 Starcut Watercut Measurement Validation (90% to 100%)

103
The measurement discrepancy in the 50 to 100% watercut range is between ± 5%
of error. However, for high watercuts (90 to 100%) this error is reduced to the ± 1%
range.

4.2.3 Watercut Measurement Using Micromotion Compensated for Gas Void
Fraction
Mathiravedu (2001) concluded that in general both watercut meters showed very
good agreement for most of the cases studied. But, for low inlet mixture velocities the
microwave meter (Starcut) showed more accurate reading, as compared to the Coriolis
watercut meter (Micromotion).
Contreras (2002) conducted several experiments taking samples from the LLCC
underflow line and comparing with the two watercut meter readings. Experiments were
conducted for a liquid superficial velocity of 1.3 ft/s and different inlet watercuts. It was
observed that better accuracy was obtained with the Starcut meter (1.19%), while with
the Micromotion Meter the error reached up to 7%. Also, the Coriolis Mass Flow Meter
(Micromotion) was not reliable when small amount of gas is entrained into the liquid
phase due to drive gain saturation.
Given that the current study of the GLCC/LLCC system includes the
measurement of the LLCC underflow watercut and that the GLCC produces gas carry-
under, the ability of watercut meters to work properly in the presence of gas becomes
clearly important. In order to study this effect, an experiment was conducted using the
GLCC/LLCC system. While keeping the GLCC liquid level setpoint (35.5 in), the inlet
air mass flowrate (1.2 lb/min), the inlet water mass flowrate (120 lb/min) and the inlet oil
104
mass flowrate (30 lb/min) constant, the LLCC underflow flowrate was changed during
the experiment. The purpose of this procedure was to keep the amount of gas carry-under
from the GLCC into the LLCC consistent and change the watercut in the underflow of
the LLCC. Based on correlations for the GLCC gas carry-under (Equation 3.37) and the
models for the LLCC with gas (Eq. 3.51-52), for an average LLCC inlet gas void fraction
of 1.5% the amount of gas in the underflow was calculated to be 0.7%. Micromotion and
Starcut were used to monitor the LLCC underflow watercut simultaneously. The results
of this experiment are plotted in Figure 4.10.
Micromotion vs. StarCut
86
88
90
92
94
96
98
100
86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100
wc StarCut (%)
w
c

M
i
c
r
o
m
o
t
i
o
n

(
%
)
+ 5%
- 5%

Figure 4.10 Watercut Measurement Performance Comparison in the Presence of Gas

It is obvious that even small amount of gas (less than 1%) is capable of distorting
the watercut reading given by Micromotion. Comparing the 5% error in the presence of
gas with the 1% error using single-phase measurements, as seen in Figure 4.9, it is
evident that these deviations can lead the LLCC control system to operate the equipment
in an undesirable fashion.
105
Since the LLCC model with gas establishes the amount of gas in the LLCC
underflow, it is possible to correct the underflow density by the true oil-water mixture
density using Equations 3.53 and 3.54. Using this compensated density the watercut can
be re-calculated. For the same experiment shown in Figure 4.10 and compensating the
Micromotion reading for the presence of gas, it can be seen that the watercut
measurement is improved to less than 2% of error as shown in Figure 4.11.
Micromotion +GVF correction vs. StarCut
86
88
90
92
94
96
98
100
86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100
wc StarCut (%)
w
c

M
i
c
r
o
m
o
t
i
o
n

c
o
r
r
e
c
t
e
d

(
%
) + 2%
- 2%

Figure 4.11 Compensated Watercut Measurement Performance in Presence of Gas

Additionally, in order to validate the operation of the Coriolis Mass Flow Meter
(Micromotion) in the presence of gas, an additional experiment was performed. For this
experiment, the Micromotion drive gain was monitored while measuring a gas-liquid
mixture. The gas void fraction (GVF) of this mixture was controlled using rotameters.
The results of this experiment are shown in Figure 4.12. While increasing the GVF from
0.15%, it can be observed that the drive gain is stable for gas void fractions lower than
2%. However, once this point is reached, a sudden change is observed. On the other hand,
106
if the experiment is carried in the other direction (reducing the GVF), it can be seen that
this sudden change happens at 1.35% GVF in the opposite direction, showing a hysterisis
phenomenon.
Drive Gain (V)
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
0.1 1.0 10.0 100.0
GVF (%)
D
r
i
v
e

G
a
i
n

(
V
)

Figure 4.12 Micromotion Drive Gain for Different Gas Void Fractions

Based on this behavior, the experimental data using Micromotion to measure the
watercut in the presence of gas are validated since all the experiments were carried for
GVF lower than 1%. Then, for these amounts of gas, the drive gain should remain stable
in the left side region of Figure 4.12.

4.3 Inversion Point Determination
Since the continuous phase is one of the variables in the system mathematical
model, experimental validation of the inversion point for oil-water mixtures is required.
The experiment was conducted using the microwave watercut meter (Starcut). Starcut
provides a variable describing the continuous phase based on built-in algorithms by
analyzing continuously the microwave attenuation and the phase shift. The results of this
107
experiment are presented in Figure 4.13. As it can be seen, the hysterisis effect is
captured even for a narrow range.
Continuous Phase based on StarCut
0
0.5
1
44 45 46 47 48 49 50
wc (%)
C
o
n
t
i
n
u
o
u
s

P
h
a
s
e
Water Continuous
Oil Continuous

Figure 4.13 Inversion Point for Oil-Water mixture based on Starcut.

4.4 Transient Data
After validating the watercut meters and studying the system from the modeling
point of view, as presented in Chapter 3, an experimental investigation of the
GLCC/LLCC system and the control systems was conducted. Different experiments were
performed in order to test the system response for different scenarios, such as GLCC
liquid level setpoint as a perturbation, LLCC underflow watercut setpoint as a
perturbation and the change in the inlet flowrates as a perturbation. Additionally, some
important factors in the interaction of the GLCC and the LLCC are emphasized, for
instance, the effect of the gas carry-under from the GLCC underflow on the LLCC
performance.
108
The PID values used during the experimental program for the GLCC controller
and the LLCC controller are given in Table 4.3.
Table 4.3 PID Settings for GLCC and LLCC Controllers during Experiments
GLCC Settings LLCC Settings
P 1.5230 Kp 1.5230 P 1.3339 Kp 1.3339
I (s
-1
) 0.2561 Ti (min) 0.0991 I (s
-1
) 0.1049 Ti (min) 0.2120
D (s) 1.8093 Td (min) 0.0198 D (s) 3.3934 Td (min) 0.0424

4.4.1 GLCC Liquid Level Setpoint as a Perturbation
For this test a set of different setpoints were induced to the system while
monitoring its behavior. Changes in the GLCC liquid level were made from the inlet
level to setpoints above and below the inlet, as shown in Figure 4.14.
GLCC level setpoint (in)
0.0
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
30.0
35.0
40.0
45.0
50.0
0 50 100 150 200 250
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

s
e
t
p
o
i
n
t

(
i
n
)
35.5-45-35.5
35.5-40-35.5
35.5-30-35.5
35.5-25-35.5

Figure 4.14 GLCC Liquid Level Setpoints Induced

The response of the control system can be appreciated in Figure 4.15. It can be
seen that for each setpoint specified, the control system adjusts the gas control valve until
Liq. Level (in)
109
the actual level matches the desired value. For the particular settings of the experimental
facility, the maximum overshoot was achieved while changing the setpoint from 35.5 to
25 inches, reaching a value of 22%. These experiments were performed while keeping
the LLCC underflow watercut setpoint constant at 97% and the inlet flowrates constant
(120 lb/min of water, 30 lb/min of oil and 0.4 lb/min of air). The values of the actual
watercut can be seen in Figure 4.16, while the split ratio during the operation is displayed
in Figure 4.17.

GLCC level (in)
Changes in setpoint
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
0.0 50.0 100.0 150.0 200.0 250.0
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
i
n
)
35.5-30-35.5
35.5-25-35.5
35.5-40-35.5
35.5-45-35.5

Figure 4.15 GLCC Liquid Level Response for Setpoints Induced

Liq. Level (in)
110
LLCC Water Cut
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
0.0 50.0 100.0 150.0 200.0 250.0
t (s)
W
a
t
e
r
C
u
t

(
%
)
LLCC Water Cut

Figure 4.16 LLCC Underflow Watercut with GLCC Liquid Level Control

LLCC Split Ratio
20.0
25.0
30.0
35.0
40.0
45.0
50.0
55.0
60.0
0.0 50.0 100.0 150.0 200.0 250.0
t (s)
S
p
l
i
t

R
a
t
i
o

(
%
)
Split Ratio

Figure 4.17 LLCC Split Ratio with GLCC Liquid Level Control



111
4.4.2 LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoint as a Perturbation
A set of changes in the LLCC underflow watercut setpoint were generated with
the intention of studying the response of the control system during such perturbations, as
shown in Figure 4.18. These experiments were carried while keeping the GLCC liquid
level setpoint constant at 35.5 in. and the inlet flowrates constant (120 lb/min of water, 30
lb/min of oil and 0.4 lb/min of air).
LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoints
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
0.0 100.0 200.0 300.0 400.0
t (s)
W
a
t
e
r
C
u
t

(
%
)
97-98-97
97-99-97
97-92-97
wc % setpoint

Figure 4.18 LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoints Induced

The response of the system is displayed in Figure 4.19. It can be seen that all the
setpoints induced were searched by the control system. Apparently, the system has been
optimized for high setpoint watercuts, giving a larger amount of fluctuations in the
change from 97% to 92% watercut. Besides, in this set of experiments, the change in the
setpoint from 97% to 92% watercut experience is the largest perturbation introduced to
the system. Another hypothesis is that the LLCC itself is more stable while operating
close to the optimal split ratio.
112
LLCC Underflow Watercut
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
0.0 100.0 200.0 300.0 400.0
t (s)
W
a
t
e
r
C
u
t

(
%
)
97-98-97
97-99-97
97-92-97
wc % setpoint

Figure 4.19. LLCC Underflow Watercut for Different Setpoints

Additionally, it can be seen in Figure 4.20 that the changes in the watercut
setpoint are reflected in the split ratio presenting the highest split ratio at 92% of
watercut. This is clear since this setpoint introduces the major amount of oil in the
underflow.
LLCC Split Ratio
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
0.0 100.0 200.0 300.0 400.0
t (s)
S
p
l
i
t

R
a
t
i
o

(
%
)
97-98-97
97-99-97
97-92-97
wc % setpoint

Figure 4.20 LLCC Split Ratio for Different Watercut Setpoints Induced
113
4.4.3 Inlet Flowrates and Watercut as a Perturbation for the GLCC/LLCC System
At this point and after testing the system for different setpoints in the GLCC
liquid level and the LLCC underflow watercut, additional tests of the behavior of the
system for different flow conditions are presented. The setpoints of the GLCC liquid
level and the LLCC underflow watercut are kept constant at 35.5 in and 97%
respectively. The changes in air mass flowrates are common for all tests as shown in
Figure 4.21. The oil mass flowrate is kept constant as shown in Figure 4.22.

Air Mass Flow In
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0 100 200 300 400 500
t (s)
M
a
s
s

f
l
o
w

r
a
t
e

(
l
b
/
m
i
n
)
Air Mass Flow In

Figure 4.21 Inlet Air Mass Flowrate

The inlet water mass flowrate was changed at different values, as displayed in
Figure 4.23, defining cases 1, 2 and 3. This kind of perturbation was done with a dual
purpose: one, to alter the GLCC steady-state simultaneously with the change in the air
mass flow in, and two, to change the LLCC steady-state since the watercut of the mixture
is modified.
114
Oil Mass Flow In
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
0 100 200 300 400 500
t (s)
M
a
s
s

f
l
o
w

r
a
t
e

(
l
b
/
m
i
n
)
Oil Mass Flow In

Figure 4.22 Inlet Oil Mass Flowrate


Water Mass Flowrate In
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
0 100 200 300 400 500
t (s)
M
a
s
s

f
l
o
w

r
a
t
e

(
l
b
/
m
i
n
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Figure 4.23 Inlet Water Mass Flow

In Figure 4.24, the oscillations due to the action of the control system in order to
keep the GLCC liquid level around the setpoint can be observed. The overshoot in the
115
response increases with the value of the change in the water flowrate. Hence, the
maximum variation in the control variable happens for the largest perturbation (Case 3).
Also, it can be seen that the response of the control system depends on the nature of the
perturbation, since equal changes in the flowrate produce different overshoots for a
positive or negative change. This is due to the fact that the gas control valve is acting
better while pushing the level downwards rather than opening to release the pressure in
the GLCC body.
GLCC Liquid Level
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
0 100 200 300 400 500
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
i
n
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Figure 4.24 GLCC Liquid Level for Different Inlet Water Flowrate Perturbations

The simultaneous behavior of the LLCC underflow watercut, as affected by the
control system is shown in Figure 4.25. The Figure demonstrates the control valve is
acting so as to keep the watercut around the setpoint. The changes in the watercut of the
mixture entering the LLCC affect this variable. Also, the control action executed in the
GLCC introduces changes instantaneously in the liquid flowrate, altering the steady-state
operation of the LLCC.
116
LLCC Water Cut
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
t (s)
W
a
t
e
r
C
u
t

(
%
)
wc%

Figure 4.25 LLCC Underflow Watercut for Flowrate Perturbations (Case1)

The corresponding variations in the LLCC split ratio are shown in Figure 4.26.
These variations are unique to each case not only because of the different changes in the
watercut introduced, but also because these perturbations create different liquid levels in
the GLCC, which means that different amounts of gas carry-under flow into the LLCC,
modifying its efficiency instantaneously.

117
LLCC Split Ratio
30.0
35.0
40.0
45.0
50.0
55.0
60.0
65.0
0 100 200 300 400 500
t (s)
S
p
l
i
t

R
a
t
i
o

(
%
)
Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Figure 4.26 LLCC Split Ratio for Different Inlet Water Flowrate Perturbations

4.4.4 Improvements in GLCC/LLCC System
Some findings are presented next as a result of the present study. These items
could be used as improvements not only for the control systems of each separator, but
also for the regular basis data gathering in laboratories and in the field.

GLCC Liquid Level based on Mixture Density
The implementation of Liquid Level Control System for the GLCC has been
developed using a differential pressure transducer, as a level sensor for the separator. The
measured differential pressure is converted to its equivalent height in inches of water.
However, the content of the GLCC is a mixture of oil, water and some entrained gas. The
effect of correcting the differential pressure signal with the density of the mixture in the
GLCC, instead of assuming pure water, is shown next. A similar set of changes in the
118
GLCC liquid level setpoint, as those used in section 4.4.1, is used. The liquid level then is
corrected by an equivalent density based on the flowrates of oil and water introduced, and
compensated using the GVF given by the gas carry-under correlation, to take care of
small amounts of gas entrained in the liquid. The results are displayed in Figure 4.27.

GLCC level (in)
Changes in setpoint. Level based on mixture density.
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
i
n
)
35.5-30-35.5
35.5-25-35.5
35.5-40-35.5
35.5-45-35.5
Liq. Level (in)

Figure 4.27 GLCC Liquid Level for Different Setpoints
(Liquid Level based on Mixture Density)

The results are very similar to those obtained in section 4.4.1 (Figure 4.15).
Nevertheless, there are small differences, such as the values of the overshoot and the
steady-state values, as shown in Figure 4.28. Even more important is the fact that the
value obtained from the signal and the height measured in place differs from each other.
This effect becomes more important as the density of the liquid is closer to the density of
the oil rather than the water, as reported in Table 4.4. Based on these results, it is strongly
119
recommended to include the effect of the true-liquid density in the GLCC liquid level
control for low watercut systems.

GLCC level (in)
Changes in setpoint (35.5 in to 45 in)
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
0.0 50.0 100.0 150.0 200.0 250.0 300.0
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
i
n
)
in H2O
mix. Density
OS=5.1%
OS=6.8%

Figure 4.28 GLCC Liquid Level Measurement Comparison
with and without Mixture Density Correction

Table 4.4 Offset in Liquid Level Signal
with and without Mixture Density Correction
wc%
density
(g/cc)
Setpoint
(in)
Actual
level (in)
Offset
(in)
%error
80.0 1.000 35.5 37.6 2.1 5.58
80.0 0.954 35.5 35.4 -0.1 0.20
20.0 1.000 35.5 44.7 9.2 20.55
20.0 0.872 35.5 36.4 0.9 2.50




120
LLCC Split Ratio for Different LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoints
Once the concept for a proper watercut measurement performance in the presence
of gas is proven, as shown in section 4.2.3, it was necessary to consider the effect of the
type of watercut measurement for different conditions in the system studied. As a first
case, it is shown how the performance of the LLCC for different watercut setpoints is
evaluated, while a constant liquid level is kept at the GLCC. Also, the flowrates are kept
constant during these runs. Actually, this set of experiments is carried under exactly the
same conditions as those in section 4.4.2 (LLCC Underflow Watercut Setpoint as a
Perturbation). The changes induced to the system are also as those shown in Figure 4.18.
Comparison between the watercut measurement using Micromotion and using
Micromotion with GVF compensation are shown in Figure 4.29, Figure 4.30 and Figure
4.31 for different changes in watercut setpoint.
LLCC WaterCut
97%-98%-97% Setpoint
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
t (s)
W
a
t
e
r
C
u
t

(
%
)
GVF correction
Micromotion

Figure 4.29 LLCC Underflow Watercut (97%-98%-97% Setpoint)
121
LLCC WaterCut
97%-99%-97% Setpoint
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
t (s)
W
a
t
e
r
C
u
t

(
%
)
GVF correction
Micromotion

Figure 4.30 LLCC Underflow Watercut (97%-99%-97% Setpoint)


LLCC WaterCut
97%-92%-97% Setpoint
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
t (s)
W
a
t
e
r
C
u
t

(
%
)
GVF correction
Micromotion

Figure 4.31 LLCC Underflow Watercut (97%-92%-97% Setpoint)

122
As can be seen, the watercut measurement values obtained correspond to the
setpoints imposed for each case studied. The main difference is the higher noise level
presented in the GVF compensated signal. This noise is due to the fact that the GVF
compensated signal contains the original signal given by Micromotion and is also
affected by the noise from the GLCC liquid level signal since this variable is used to
compute the amount of gas carry-under transported to the LLCC.

Apparently there is no added value adopting the GVF compensated signal since
both sets of experiments report the same watercut with similar dynamics. However, if the
performance of the LLCC for both cases is compared through the Split Ratio, it is clear
that the GVF compensated method results in higher split ratios than when using the
original signal from Micromotion, as seen on Figure 4.32 and Figure 4.33. This
phenomenon is explained by the fact that the original signal from Micromotion does not
take into account the presence of gas in the mixture. Thus, the watercut reported using
Micromotion is actually higher, since the gas present in the mixture is taken as part of the
oil phase. Thus, it is highly recommended to include the effect of the gas in watercut
meters in order to optimize the performance of separators, such as the LLCC.
123
LLCC Split Ratio
Watercut measured using Micromotion
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
0.0 100.0 200.0 300.0 400.0
t (s)
S
p
l
i
t

R
a
t
i
o

(
%
)
97-98-97
97-99-97
97-92-97
wc % setpoint

Figure 4.32 LLCC Split Ratio Obtained using Micromotion to Measure Watercut


LLCC Split Ratio
Watercut measured using Micromotion GVF compensated
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
0 100 200 300 400
t (s)
S
p
l
i
t

R
a
t
i
o

(
%
)
97-98-97
97-99-97
97-92-97
wc % setpoint

Figure 4.33 LLCC Split Ratio Obtained using GVF Compensated Micromotion
to Measure Watercut

124
LLCC Split Ratio for Different GLCC Liquid Level Setpoints
As mentioned in the previous section, it is important to consider the effect of gas
in a watercut meter, since this instrument determines the proper control of a liquid-liquid
separator. With the intention of continuing the study of the GLCC/LLCC system
performance while measuring watercut with or without gas void fraction correction, some
additional experiments were conducted. The set of experiments is similar as those
performed in section 4.4.1 (GLCC Liquid Level Setpoint as a Perturbation) aiming at
comparing both sets of experiments. Similar step changes in the GLCC liquid level
setpoint were induced, as those displayed in Figure 4.14. The responses of the GLCC
liquid level control system for each perturbation are shown in Figure 4.34.

GLCC Liquid Level
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
0 100 200 300 400 500
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
i
n
)
35.5-45-35.5
35.5-40-35.5
35.5-30-35.5
35.5-25-35.5
35.5-20-35.5
Liq. Level (in)

Figure 4.34 GLCC Liquid Level for Different Setpoints

It is critical to note that the performance of the LLCC depends on the GLCC
liquid level setpoint, which corresponds to a different value of gas carry-under. As
125
explained before, the amount of gas injected to the LLCC affects its performance. For a
fixed LLCC underflow watercut setpoint of 97%, the Split Ratio obtained, using
Micromotion as the watercut meter, was below 40% for all the runs, as seen in Figure
4.35.

Figure 4.35 LLCC Split Ratio for Different GLCC Liquid Level Setpoints
(Watercut Measured using Micromotion)

However, for those runs for which the GVF compensated Micromotion was used
as a watercut meter, the Split Ratio achieved was increased progressively as the GLCC
liquid level setpoint was decreased, as shown in Figure 4.36. This occurs as a result of the
increment in the gas carry-under that corresponds to lowering the GLCC liquid level. As
reported by Contreras (2002), the gas introduced to the LLCC may increase its efficiency,
yet there is a limit where beyond which this effect is completely reversed. In Figure 4.36,
the experiment for which the GLCC liquid level setpoint was changed from 35.5 to 20
inches demonstrates the highest Split Ratio as compared to other runs. However,
126
observations indicated that for the amount of gas into the LLCC in this run, the LLCC
collapsed since most of the gas diverted into the overflow of the LLCC, creating a slug
flow pattern in the LLCC body.
For the 35.5 to 25 inches liquid level setpoint run, the Split Ratio reaches values
higher than 55%. This high performance of the LLCC can be attributed to the fact that the
gas carry-under in the GLCC was overpredicted. Hence, the gas presence is over
compensated in the reading given by Micromotion.
For the other cases studied (liquid level closer to the GLCC inlet), the gas carry-
under prediction is within a range for which the gas void fraction correction is valid for
the GLCC/LLCC system. As can be seen in Figure 4.36 (Micromotion GVF
compensated) the Split Ratios vary between 42% and 51%, while in Figure 4.35
(Micromotion not compensated) the Split Ratio values obtained are below 40%.

LLCC Split Ratio for different Liq. Level setpoints
WaterCut measured using Micromotion GVF compensated
30.0
35.0
40.0
45.0
50.0
55.0
60.0
65.0
70.0
0 100 200 300 400 500
t (s)
S
p
l
i
t

R
a
t
i
o

(
%
)
35.5-45-35.5
35.5-40-35.5
35.5-30-35.5
35.5-25-35.5
35.5-20-35.5
Liq. Level (in)

Figure 4.36 LLCC Split Ratio for Different GLCC Liquid Level Setpoints
(Watercut Measured using Micromotion GVF Compensated)
127
5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION



This chapter presents a discussion on the GLCC/LLCC system mathematical
model developed in this study. Also, discussion of the experimental results, including an
uncertainty analysis, is presented. Finally the direction future investigations might pursue
is presented.

5.1 Mathematical Modeling Discussion
The GLCC/LLCC dynamic simulator developed in Matlab/Simulink
®
was
successfully tested for different scenarios, including moving setpoints and changes in
input flowrates. The main contribution of this simulator is not only to simulate the
integrated control system for the GLCC and LLCC working simultaneously, but also to
incorporate other phenomena occurring in the system. Models such as gas carry-under,
liquid carry-over, pressure drops, dead time, gas effect on LLCC peformance and others
are included to provide a more realistic performance prediction of the real system.
However, the integrated control system is still based on the linearizations made by Wang
(2000) and Mathiravedu (2001), extending these differential models for an absolute value
model. The next stage in this process is to compare the advantages that a truly absolute
model, based on the original differential equations for the system, would provide instead
of using a differential model. Nevertheless, it has been proven that the proposed approach
is capable of providing more insight, as the simulator is sensitive to the setpoints, and
also since simulations for start-up operations and two-stage LLCC are now available.

128
5.2 Experimental Program Discussion
Before testing the GLCC/LLCC system dynamics in the experimental program, it
was revealed how important it was to validate the proper performance of watercut meters
in the presence of gas. This was demonstrated to be critical in order to improve the
quality of the system investigation. As shown in Chapter 4, it is important to consider the
presence of gas, since this factor improved the readings obtained by Micromotion, while
comparing the results with a watercut meter, such as the Starcut, which is not sensitive to
gas. The inclusion of an uncertainty analysis in this comparison is significant in order to
validate the experimental investigation. In addition, it was essential to validate the values
obtained for the other control variable, the GLCC liquid level. As shown in Chapter 4, the
method used to convert the GLCC differential pressure to liquid height is crucial while
comparing it with the actual level.

5.2.1 Uncertainty Analysis for Watercut Meters
The uncertainty analysis for the watercut meters was based on the data collected
by Contreras (2002), who compared the watercut measurements from Micromotion with
the values obtained using Starcut, while simultaneously taking representative samples of
the mixture to verify the real watercut. The discrepancies between the actual watercuts
and the values reported by the watercut meters were assumed to be equivalent to the
systematic errors given by each instrument. This criterion was established in order to take
into account not only the uncertainty claimed by the manufacturer, but also the real
uncertainty of the instrument installed in place.

129
The uncertainty model used was the simplified U
95
, as described by Dieck (1997),
namely,
( )
2
1
2
,
2
95 ,
95 , 95
(
(
¸
(

¸

+
|
.
|

\
|
⋅ ± =
R X
R
S
t
B
t U
ν
ν
(5.1)
where: B
R
: normally distributed systematic uncertainty at 95% confidence

R X
S
,
: standard deviation of one result. It is the random uncertainty.
t
ν,95
: student’s t
95
for a given number of degrees of freedom

An example of the results obtained using the uncertainty model for the watercut
meters is shown in Table 5.1. For an input mixture of 95% watercut, the U
95
for
Micromotion is 2.978 wc% and the U
95
for Starcut is 1.663 wc%.

Table 5.1 Uncertainty Analysis for Watercut Meters
Average WC% t
95
B
R
S
X,R
U
95
Rel. Uncert. (%)
Micromotion 95.80 2 2.91 0.5238 2.978 3.11
Starcut 94.91 2.571 0.69 0.5945 1.663 1.75


The validation data for the watercut meters, including the error given by the
uncertainty analysis procedure, are plotted in Figure 5.1. The error bars in this figure are
within the ±5% discrepancy range, mainly for watercuts higher than 65%. A closer look
on the validation data, including the error bars, is seen in Figure 5.2, where the range
from 90 to 100% watercut is plotted. The values obtained with Micromotion differ from
the values obtained with Starcut in the ±1% range. However, the uncertainty bars are
larger than this range.
130
Micromotion vs. StarCut
0% gas
50
60
70
80
90
100
50 60 70 80 90 100
wc StarCut (%)
w
c

M
i
c
r
o
m
o
t
i
o
n

(
%
)
+ 5%
- 5%

Figure 5.1 Starcut Watercut Meter Validation using Single-Phase Measurements with
Micromotion (0% Gas, 50%-100% Watercut Range)


Micromotion vs. StarCut
0% gas
90
92
94
96
98
100
90 92 94 96 98 100
wc StarCut (%)
w
c

M
i
c
r
o
m
o
t
i
o
n

(
%
)
+ 1%
- 1%

Figure 5.2 Starcut Watercut Meter Validation using Single-Phase Measurements with
Micromotion (0% Gas, 90%-100% Watercut Range)


131
Including the uncertainty bars in the comparison for the watercut meters
performance in the presence of gas between Micromotion and Starcut, it is important to
notice that the offset in the watercut given by Micromotion is larger than the uncertainty
of the instrument, as shown in Figure 5.3. This is relevant in order to prove the significant
distortion in the readings obtained by Micromotion in the presence of gas.
Micromotion vs. StarCut
86
88
90
92
94
96
98
100
86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100
wc StarCut (%)
w
c

M
i
c
r
o
m
o
t
i
o
n

(
%
)
+ 5%
- 5%

Figure 5.3 Watercut Measurement Performance Comparison in the Presence of Gas

On the other hand, when the comparison between the Micromotion reading
compensated for gas and the values obtained with Starcut, including the uncertainty bars,
as seen on Figure 5.4, are plotted, not only a significant improvement is observed, since
the data is between the ±2% discrepancy range, but also the uncertainty bars are
overlapping the ±2% discrepancy range.
132
Micromotion +GVF correction vs. StarCut
86
88
90
92
94
96
98
100
86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100
wc StarCut (%)
w
c

M
i
c
r
o
m
o
t
i
o
n

c
o
r
r
e
c
t
e
d

(
%
) + 2%
- 2%

Figure 5.4 Compensated Watercut Measurement Performance in Presence of Gas


5.2.2 Uncertainty Analysis at the Inversion Point
The inversion point graph for the oil-water mixture studied, including uncertainty
bars for the watercut determination using Starcut, can be observed in Figure 5.5. In this
figure, the uncertainty bars around the inversion point overlap. This can lead to several
conclusions, including:
a.) It is not clear if the inversion point actually presents a hysterisis effect.
b.) The hysterisis band could be actually larger than that shown.


133
Continuous Phase based on StarCut
0
0.5
1
44 45 46 47 48 49 50
wc (%)
C
o
n
t
i
n
u
o
u
s

P
h
a
s
e
Water Continuous
Oil Continuous

Figure 5.5 Inversion Point for Oil-Water Mixture based on Starcut


5.2.3 Uncertainty Analysis for GLCC Liquid Level Determination
Additionally, the uncertainty model described by Dieck (1997) has been applied
to the GLCC liquid level determination. As shown in Table 5.2, the systematic error
changes, based on which method is used to convert the measured differential pressure
into equivalent liquid height. The criterion to determine the systematic error (B
R
) is
similar to that applied for the watercut measurement uncertainty. As explained in Chapter
4, there is a difference between the value obtained for the liquid height assuming water
density or mixture density, and the actual value measured in place. It is assumed that this
difference includes not only the uncertainty of the instrument, but also the additional
uncertainties related to its installation in place. Subsequently, even the results for the
uncertainty in the GLCC liquid level show a difference in the systematic errors,
depending on the method used to compute the equivalent liquid height, the values for U
95

134
due to the standard deviation contribution, result in similar values for the ultimate U
95

(2.948 inches while assuming pure water and 2.829 inches using a mixture density).

Table 5.2 Uncertainty Analysis for GLCC Liquid Level Determination

Actual
level (in)
t
95
B
R
S
X,R
U
95

Rel. Uncert.
(%)
in H
2
O 37.6 2 2.10 1.0352 2.948 7.84
mix. Density 35.4 2 0.07 1.4138 2.829 7.99

GLCC level
Changes in setpoint (35.5 in to 45 in)
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
0.0 50.0 100.0 150.0 200.0 250.0 300.0
t (s)
L
i
q
.

L
e
v
e
l

(
i
n
)
in H2O
mix. Density
OS=5.1%
OS=6.8%

Figure 5.6 GLCC Liquid Level Comparison With and Without
Mixture Density Correction

The differences in the GLCC liquid level when assuming pure water or when
using a mixture density criterion can be observed in Figure 5.6. The respective
uncertainty bars are displayed as well. The U
95
values obtained for both criterions are
similar to each other and at the same time, these values are equivalent, as compared to
their respective overshoots.
135
5.2.4 Transient Data Discussion
The measurements based on the GLCC liquid level and the LLCC underflow
watercut can be analyzed after validating these two most important variables for the
GLCC/LLCC system, considering that both of them are the variables to be controlled in
the investigation.
The experiments performed using the GLCC/LLCC system include the response
of the GLCC liquid level control and LLCC watercut control system for different
conditions, as described in Chapter 4. The values reported for the GLCC liquid level in
each run present larger changes than the values found for the uncertainty of this
measurement for most of the experiments. This means that the results obtained for the
GLCC liquid level are conclusive, even if the offset between the real liquid level and the
value measured is not considered. This offset is neglected because all the experiments
were performed using high watercut mixtures, and as discussed previously, for these
cases the offset is not as large as it would be for a low watercut mixture.
On the other hand, the values acquired for the LLCC underflow watercut for some
particular cases such as changes in the watercut setpoint from 97% to 98% (Section
4.4.2), the uncertainty of the measurement is actually larger than the change imposed on
the setpoint of the equipment. Based on this, it can be implied that for such small changes
in the watercut, the action of the control system is affected by the uncertainty of the
instruments. Thus, in order to fine-tune the operation of the separator, improvements in
the watercut metering accuracy would be required.



136
6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

6.1. Conclusions
The study of the GLCC/LLCC system is not a trivial problem. Even though
separate investigations of each of the existing parts of the system have already been
executed, once integrated in a system, the complexity of the real interactions between the
separators and their control systems might lead to operational problems, such as
instabilities and dramatic reduction in separation efficiency. On the other hand, a proper
management of the resources of the GLCC/LLCC system can also lead to improvement
of the separation efficiency of each stage separately, achieving enhancements in the
performance of the system, not possible before combining them.
Based on the detailed theoretical and experimental investigations of this study, the
following conclusions can be drawn:
1. The complexity of the GLCC
©
/LLCC
©
system can be analyzed combining their
linear models for the control systems and auxiliary models, aimed at the study of its
actual performance.
• The developed GLCC
©
/LLCC
©
system simulator has been successfully tested for
different perturbations. The set of perturbations included changes in the GLCC
liquid level setpoint, changes in the LLCC underflow watercut setpoint and
changes in the inlet gas and liquid flowrates and inlet mixture watercut,
simultaneously.
• The fact that the control models are based on the physics of the separation
systems, while the auxiliary models help to understand the interaction of the


137
control systems with the surrounding components, provides a more realistic
approach in the simulator developed.
• Even though the control models were developed using a differential approach,
the methodology of the simulator is to express the results in terms of absolute
values that are easier to understand.
• Extended capability has been demonstrated for additional field operations.
Different applications including start-up operations and multiple stage separators
can be studied based on the approach proposed in this study.

2. Improvements in the instrumentation of the GLCC
©
/LLCC
©
system can improve the
efficiency of the system.
• Proper GLCC liquid level measurement is crucial in order to avoid an offset
between the value of the control variable being monitored and the actual value in
place. The difference between the real liquid height and the value obtained using
differential pressure transducers can be minimized by correcting the liquid height
for the density of the liquid mixture inside the GLCC body. The correction for
the mixture density becomes more important as the watercut of the liquid mixture
decreases.
• In a separation system such as the GLCC/LLCC system, proper watercut meter
selection can make a significant difference in the optimal performance achieved
by the control systems. Since the LLCC is connected to the GLCC, the use of
watercut meters, which are not sensitive to gas, is crucial in order to accomplish
the optimal split ratio in the LLCC and even avoid instabilities in the system.


138
3. The LLCC
©
performance can be optimized by manipulating the GLCC
©
operation.
Given that the operation of the GLCC liquid level control produces substantial
changes in the amount of gas carry-under, and as the LLCC efficiency is affected by
the gas fraction in the mixture, any change in the GLCC liquid level may improve or
deteriorate the LLCC operation. If the GLCC liquid level setpoint is lowered below
the inlet level, the LLCC split ratio increases as the gas carry-under contributes to
improve the liquid-liquid separation efficiency. However, there is a limit (7%)
beyond which the amount of gas carry-under is so large that the effect is reversed and
the LLCC performance is then compromised.

6.2. Recommendations
The following recommendations are made for further studies to expand the scope
of this investigation:
1. Improvements in the control models can be performed by solving fundamental
differential equations, which are non-linear. As explained before, the previous
investigations accomplished for the control systems in the GLCC and the LLCC are
based on linearizations of the basic equations for each system. A more detailed
evaluation of the dynamics involved is necessary so as to consider factors such as
initial conditions and the dampening that the system could provide for different
perturbations under particular conditions.
2. GLCC
©
liquid level measurement improvements taking into account the liquid
mixture density are strongly recommended mainly for low watercut applications. It is
important to avoid an offset in the liquid level signal since this could mean that the


139
real value is actually larger or smaller than the desired value leading to detriments in
the GLCC performance.
3. The use of watercut meters, which are not sensitive to gas, for the LLCC
©
underflow
watercut control is crucial, in particular if the inlet liquid mixture is from the GLCC
©

liquid leg. As it was demonstrated, the performance of the LLCC can be improved by
proper selection of the watercut meter.
140
NOMENCLATURE
Symbols
A
= Constant for linear control valve characteristics
C
= Overall flow coefficient
1
C
= Constant for gas control valve:
v
g
C
C

g
C
= Gas control valve flow coefficient
o
C = Control valve response time, t, seconds
v
C
= Liquid control valve flow coefficient
d = GLCC diameter, L, ft
1
D = Constant for GLCC geometry
2
D = Constant for liquid flow rate calculation
3
D = Constant for gas mass balance
4
D = Constant for gas flow rate calculation
5
D = Constant for effect of pressure on liquid flow rate
6
D = Constant for effect of liquid level on pressure
7
D = Constant for effect of pressure on gas flow rate
e = Error signal
E = Controller output
f = Friction factor
Fgl = empirical factor
141
g = Acceleration due to gravity
GVF = Gas Void Fraction (%)
c
g = Factor of proportionality defined by Newton's second law
( ) s G = Feed forward loop transfer function
H = Liquid level, L, ft
( ) s H = Feed back loop transfer function
j = Volumetric Flux
k = Controller gain
K = Gain
L = Length of pipe segments
M = Molecular weight
n = Mole number
p = Pneumatic pressure, m/Lt
2
, psi
P = GLCC pressure, m/Lt
2
, psi
( ) s PD = PD compensator transfer function
( ) s PI = PI compensator transfer function
( ) s PID = PID compensator transfer function
Q = Volumetric flow rate, L
3
/t, /s ft
3

R = Universal gas constant, 10.7317 (lbf/in.
2
)-ft
3
/lbmol-R
s = Laplace variable
S.R = Split Ratio (%)
142
t = Time, t, seconds
T = Temperature, T,
o
R
u = Controller output
U = Controlled variable
V = Volume, L
3
, ft
3

sg
V = Superficial gas velocity, L/t, ft/s
sl
V = Superficial liquid velocity, L/t, ft/s
V
&
= Net volume rate, L
3
/t, ft
3
/s
We = Weber Number
W.C. = Water Cut (%)
x = Control valve position, %
z = Compensator zero
Z = Compressibility factor

Greek Letters
α = gas void fraction
γ = Specific gravity
κ = Fitting flow coefficient
ρ = Density, m/L
3
, lbm/ft
3

τ
o
= Time constant, t, seconds
∆ = Incremental deviation
π = 3.141592…
143
µ = Viscosity

Superscripts
'
= Denotes parameters in the gas control loop
mod
= Modified variable

Subscripts
c = Controller
Deg = Degree
d = Derivative
G = Gas
GCV = Gas control valve
GLCC = Gas-liquid cylindrical cyclone
i = Integral
in = Into GLCC
L = Liquid
LCV = Liquid control valve
lim = Limit
LLCC = Liquid-liquid cylindrical cyclone
max = Maximum
min = Minimum
m = Number of fittings
144
n = Number of pipe segments
o = oil phase
out = Out of GLCC
p = Proportional
s = System
sl = Superficial-liquid
sg = Superficial-gas
s , set = Set point
test = Test
T = Transmitter
v = Valve
w = water phase

145
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APPENDIX