Slug Catcher Sizing Spreadsheet

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Slug Catcher Sizing Spreadsheet

© All Rights Reserved

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Problem:

A slug catcher for a new offshore gas processing facility is to be sized. Gas from a

subsea well cluster will be transported to the platform in a common flow line. No pigging

facilities will be required for the flow line. A horizontal pressure vessel will be used as

both the slug catcher and the primary separator. The gas from the separator will go

to a gas dehydration system. The following information is based on preliminary well tests:

Condensate Flow Rate

Gas Specific Gravity

Condensate API Gravity

Slug Catcher Operating Pressure

Slug Catcher Operating Temperature

Gas Viscosity

Gas Compressibility (Z)

From Flow Assurance:

Slug Volume

Slug Duration

150

2000

0.65

46

800

115

0.011

1

MMSCFD

BPD

50

1

Bbl

min

Psig

F

cP

Solution

Step 1 - Calculate the slug surge volume

The general equation for slug surge volume is:

Slug Surge Volume = (Slug Flow Rate - Flow Rate from Slug Catcher) x (Slug Duration)

The slug flow rate is calculated based on the pipeline simulation results:

Slug Flow Rate

=

Slug Volume/Slug Duration

= to the normal

72,000.00

BPD

The flow rate from the slug catcher is assumed to be equal

condensate

flow rate of 2,000 bbl/day. Therefore,

=

Slug Surge Volume

48.61

Bbl

Since this is so close to the expected slug volume, it was decided to use 50 bbls as the

slug surge volume.

50

Bbl

Step 2 - Calculate the liquid capacity

Three minute retention time was thought to be adequate for gas/liquid separation. An

additional two minutes of retention time will be allowed for high level response time.

Therefore,

Liquid Capacity

(Retention Time + Level Response

Time)

6.94

Bbl

The minimum total amount of required liquid volume is the sum of the slug surge capacity

volume and the liquid capacity volume:

=

56.94

=

319.70

Bbl

ft3

Note that most of the liquid volume requirement is due to the slug. The desired units for the slug catcher d

length are feet. The total liquid volume is converted from barrels to cubic feet:

Step 4 - Calculate the maximum allowable gas velocity

The maximum allowable gas velocity will be based on empirical correlations, using the

following equation:

The liquid and gas densities must be converted to the appropriate units:

Liquid Density, lb/ft3 = 62.4 lb/ft3 x 141.5/(API + 131.5)

=

49.74422535 lb/ft3

=

2.49

lb/ft3

Based on the guidelines presented in Section 7.9, a K value of 0.35 is selected

Vm

1.53

ft/s

Step 5 - Calculate the minimum gas cross-sectional area

The minimum gas cross-sectional area is calculated from the maximum allowable gas velocity

calculated in Step 4 and the gas flow rate. The gas flow rate is the design volumetric flow rate at actual

operating pressure and temperature:

Actual Gas Flow Rate = Standard Gas Flow Rate x (14.7 psia/Actual Psia) x

(Actual R/520 R) x Z

=

34.64

ft3/s

The minimum gas cross-sectional area can now be calculated:

Minimum Gas Cross-sectional Area = Gas Flow Rate/Maximum Allowable Gas Velocity

=

23

ft2

Step 6 - Estimate the minimum vessel internal diameter based on gas capacity

The minimum internal diameter based on gas capacity is calculated from the minimum gas crosssectional area calculated in Step 5:

where F is the assumed fraction of cross-sectional area occupied by the vapor space. An initial F value

of 0.30 is assumed:

6.43

ft

Step 7 - Estimate the minimum vessel internal diameter based on liquid capacity

The minimum internal diameter based on liquid capacity is calculated from the total required liquid

volume calculated in Step 3 and the vapor space cross-sectional area fraction assumed in Step 6:

L/D

Minimum Internal Diameter

5

6.47

ft

6.50

Step 8 - Determine minimum vessel internal diameter which satisfies both gas and liquid capacity

criteria

For each L/D ratio considered, Steps 6 and 7 are repeated in an iterative procedure in which the value

of F is adjusted until the internal diameters are equal. For this example, it has been determined that an

F of approximately 0.7 results in a diameter that satisfies both the gas and liquid capacity criteria:

The vessel length is calculated from the internal diameter estimated in Step 8 and the corresponding

L/D ratio:

Length = Diameter x (L/D)

=

32.50

The vertical liquid height can be calculated from the vessel diameter calculated in Step 8, the vessel

length calculated in Step 9, and the total liquid volume calculated in Step 3. In this iterative procedure,

the methodology is to guess a value for the angle a between 0 and 180 degrees until the volume

calculated by the geometric formula equals the required liquid volume. Then the vertical liquid height

can be calculated. The following formulas are used:

For this example, different values of a are guessed until the calculated volume Vc equals the total liquid

volume of 319 ft3 from Step 3. It has been determined that an angle of 71.8 degrees will result in the

required liquid volume:

71.00

2.19

ft

Vc

319.70

ft3

The results should be evaluated to ensure that any design criteria are satisfied. The guidelines

presented in Sections 6.4 and 6.6 can be used to establish appropriate liquid levels and dimensions. A

sketch such as the one illustrated in Figure 11:6-1 is typically prepared to assist in determining vessel

dimensions. Other L/D ratios should be tried. Adjustments in diameter and length should be made as

appropriate. The calculations are summarized on the following pages.

a

pigging

d as

go

ell tests:

ration)

g Duration

sate

as the

. An

me.

ow Rate x

+ Level Response

capacity

g the

e gas velocity

etric flow rate at actual

sumed in Step 6:

d liquid capacity

ure in which the value

en determined that an

capacity criteria:

d the corresponding

s iterative procedure,

until the volume

vertical liquid height

ees will result in the

The guidelines

els and dimensions. A

n determining vessel

should be made as

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