You are on page 1of 7

A Modern Gunbarrel of Unique Design

M.L. Powers, SPE, Consultant

Although regarded by many as obsolete, gunbarrels (or wash-tanks)
are still used for primary oil treating in many areas. This paper describes a modern gunbarrel constructed from an existing 5,000-bbl
tank. Oil treating without the addition of heat was feasible because
of the combination of relatively warm produced fluid and lenient basic sediment and water (BS&W) limits. The subject vessel provides
gas separation and contains two spreaders that were designed to provide good oil- and water-phase retention and to facilitate solids separation and removal. The oil-phase spreader has a diameter equal to
78% of that of the vessel. It incorporates a unique deep skirt, having
a pattern of restrictive exit ports that imposes uniform radial oil-phase
flow over a wide range of rates and is relatively insensitive to minor
misleveling, which is not the case for common serrated-skirt spreaders. The design of the unique vessel internals permitted assembly
without welding at the battery site. Differences in the contribution
of the water-bath zone of heated and nonheated gunbarrels are discussed, and it is shown that nonheated-vessel designs that increase
water-phase residence time and facilitate convection in the water-bath
are the most effective, a result of conservation of intrinsic
well-stream heat. It is also demonstrated that the optimum oil-blanket
thickness is a compromise between oil-residence time and oil temperature in nonheated vessels that capture water-phase heat. Vessel internals that entrap oil beneath water (such as the oil-phase spreader
of the subject vessel) are subjected to a buoyant force in addition to
the weight of water displaced by steel. This effect is discussed, and
design equations are developed to calculate the net buoyant force exerted upon a specific spreader and the gauge steel from which a
spreader must be constructed to preclude floating. An example is
included that illustrates the application of these equations to the subject vessel.
The gunbarrel (or wash-tank) was devised for field processing at the
infancy of the oil-producing industry. If crude-oil dehydration required increased temperature, energy was added by heating the water
bath by means of an internal firetube, internal steam coils, or external
thermosiphon loop and direct heater. An alternative method was preheating the influent fluid. By either process, these vessels were considerably less energy efficient than modern heat-treaters. However,
during the era of the heated gunbarrel, low-pressure gas had little or no
value. Typically, gunbarrels would have the same diameter as battery
stock tanks, but would be somewhat taller to assure gravitational flow.
Thus, Lv /dv ratios generally exceeded 1.0. A generic gunbarrel is
equipped with a gas separation/fluid inlet device, such as the internally
installed “flume” (or gas boot), illustrated in Fig. 1a, or the external one
shown in Fig. 1b. With either configuration, the fluid stream is normally discharged beneath a serrated spreader having a diameter between one-fourth and one-half that of the tank, which provides a measure of flow distribution of the oil-continuous phase. Normally, the
water-continuous phase is free to short-circuit directly to the water outlet, minimizing energy consumption in the case of a heated vessel.
However, it results in the effluent water having approximately the same
oil content as the influent water. The oil outlet is normally a pipe coupling installed in the side of the vessel through which oil overflows,
maintaining a constant level. An internally or externally installed water siphon controls the oil/water interface.
Copyright 1996 Society of Petroleum Engineers
Original SPE manuscript received for review Oct. 10, 1994. Revised manuscript received
July 19, 1995. Paper peer approved Aug. 15, 1995. Paper (SPE 28538) first presented at the
1994 SPE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition, New Orleans, LA, Sept. 25–28.


Even today, the gunbarrel is often the preferred means of crude-oil
dehydration in warm climates and/or where produced fluid temperatures are high, or where other circumstances make heating unnecessary or inexpensive. Many current gunbarrels are of larger diameter
and have lower Lv /dv ratios than early ones, and have improved internals. This paper describes a modern gunbarrel design that incorporates effective residence time for the water-continuous phase, as well
as improved oil-continuous phase distribution, gas separation, and
solids removal.
Construction Site
The gunbarrel described here was developed by modifying an existing ineffective 5,000-bbl (38.7 ft 24 ft) bolted, cone-bottom settling tank. Before vessel modification, the BS&W and solids content of the effluent 29.3°-API oil was essentially the same as the
influent. After the retrofit, the BS&W content of effluent oil was
easily maintained below 2%. The tank was originally equipped
with a 3.0-ft-diameter internal flume and central “crow’s nest” oil
collector, which were retained in the modification. The flume extension functions as a vertical oil/gas separator, with gas capacity
being governed by maximum-allowable superficial-velocity considerations. The gas-capacity formula shown below was extracted
from Ref. 1, and would be appropriate for calculating maximum
instantaneous gas-flow rates. Appreciable liquid carryover from
the separator is undesirable because it would result in water and wet
oil being dumped on top of clean oil leaving the vessel. The appropriate value of K for this equation is the largest one that does not
interfere with meeting pipeline-oil specifications.

67, 858 K d 2F pT sƪǒò o * ò gǓńò gƫ
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1)
qg +
p sTz
Details of the new gunbarrel design are illustrated in Fig. 2. This
design employs large-diameter oil-phase and water-phase distributing spreaders. These were fabricated from bolted 3,000-bbl tankdeck segments and rafters because this construction method permitted assembly without welding at the tank-battery site. The rafters
of both spreaders extend from the tank wall to the flume, where they
are bolted to attachment rings welded to the flume. The flume was
removed from the battery site for installation of these rings. The upper-spreader rafters were supported at the outer end by attachment to
rolled-channel steel, which was bolted to the tank wall. The lowerspreader rafters were also attached to the tank wall. However, vertical
loading was supported by legs extending to the tank bottom. A vent
pipe from near the apex of the lower spreader extends up into the
upper spreader, and a second one extends from near the apex of the
upper spreader up into the flume dome. The upper spreader has the
normal 1:12 tank-deck pitch and a diameter of 30.0 ft. The lower
spreader was constructed with an 18.8° slope and is 28.5 ft in diameter. This was accomplished by using only 19 of the standard 20 tankdeck segments. This increased slope, in conjunction with a jetting
system, prevents sand accumulation on top of the lower spreader.
A steel plate seals the bottom of the flume, which is supported by an
angle iron framework from the tank bottom. Incoming fluid exits
the flume through 16 equally spaced 2-in. round inlet ports located radially around the flume. The bottoms of these holes are at the depth
of the bottom of the upper (oil-phase) spreader skirt.
Oil-Flow Regulation. Radial oil-phase flow is imposed within the
oil-phase spreader by outflow regulation, using 9/16-in.-diameter restrictive exit ports in the spreader skirt. Port flow rate is a function
of the interface depression (D), illustrated in Fig. 3, and may be calculated from Eq. 2. This equation was derived from Eq. B-4 by converting rate to barrels per day.
SPE Production & Facilities, February 1996

. . . as discussed in a later section. Spillover would likely occur along a small arc of the spreader skirt unless it was precisely level.. Curves are presented for each row of ports and for the sum of all rows. Fig. up to 7. It can be seen that good rate regulation (and thus radial flow) is imposed from no flow when Zt2 in. 5 is a plot of flow rate exiting the spreader vs. such as the one described in Ref. the greater will be the decrease in separation effectiveness. .452 B/D when Z+12 in. interface depth (Z). . . From the oil/water-interface impact zone. February 1996 55 . Fig. slight misleveling of the spreader would have minimal effect on radial-flow distribution up to the point of spillover. 4-. which would effectively be a vertical projection of the spreader skirt. . Consequently. (2) The 12-in. at which point oil spillover at the skirt bottom is impending. The functional relationship developed in Appendix A between separation capacity and AH assumed plug flow and that AH does not vary with depth. We show in Appendix A that separation capacity is proportional to horizontal cross-sectional area (AH ) regardless of the direction of bulk flow. . generally radial flow pattern. spreader skirt has three horizontal rows of ports.. The water bath is very beneficial in the case of a heated gunbarrel. which impede separation. . effective separation is accomplished by efficient use of vessel horizontal area and not directly by efficient use of vessel volume. . Oil Dehydration and Desanding After the radial-flow regime within the oil-phase spreader. 1—Typical gunbarrel configurations. measured from the skirt top.02). ports in the spreader skirt and rise vertically through the water bath at a velocity of approximately 0. in the subject unheated gunbarrel. Real flow differs from plug flow because of short circuiting and turbulence. . No fluid flows through a row of ports until the internal interface is depressed to a lower depth because there is no differential pressure.Fig. any suspended contaminant of constant partial size that is not removed from the oil while within the spreader would not settle out of the oil phase if introduced at the top of the oil blanket. and the average tank-battery oil gravity (29. because it serves as the heat-transfer medium. This figure is based on Eq. which would be impossible to achieve with a conventional serrated spreader even if precisely level. located 2-. Thus.3° API) and water specific gravity (1. . and 6 in.5 q h + 116. The greater the departure from plug flow. . oil globules exit the 9/16-in. with 60 equally spaced ports per row. from the skirt top (see Fig. However. It is reasonable to assume that the controlled radial (horizontal) flow within the oil-phase spreader more closely approximates plug flow than the undefined flow regime in the oil blanket.75 ft/sec to the impact zone at the oil/water interface. . . Therefore. . separation effectiveness will not necessarily track with observed residence-time data when comparing dissimilar vessels because the latter is a measure of volumetric displacement. 2. oil flow would be inward and upward to the oil collector in an undefined. the principal valve of the water-bath is to conserve well-stream heat. Field circumstances dictated the wide range of controlled flow designed into the oil-phase spreader. two stages of gravity separation. . there are.6 d 2h ƪD (g w * g o)ńg oƫ . Since qh is a square root function of D. 2. . 2—Cross-sectional view of vessel internals. 4). . in effect. SPE Production & Facilities. 0. Thus.

which cannot be expressed mathematically. . or from water driven by convection into the area above the oil-phase spreader. Oil droplets smaller than the design diameter (defined by Eq. . .8037 10 –4ƪq MW m Wńǒd 2sw * d 2FǓǒŤg p * g wŤǓƫ . 4—Oil-spreader skirt detail. . . 3—Interface depression within oil spreader. . . The greatest contribution of the oil blanket. (In contrast to the subject design. Spreader-Design Equations.1603 10 6ǒd 2s * d 2FǓǒg p * g oǓd 2pńm o . The flow regime beneath the lower spreader will assume some effective thickness. (3) and d p + 6. . Once the water phase flows around the perimeter of the lower spreader. (6) 0. 3. 3. However. . Eq. . The only energy available to maintain oil temperature above ambient is that intrinsic to the well-stream. . . Therefore. (7) Fig. displacing cooler water from that area and conserving intrinsic well-stream heat. Q + k p d v L v ǒT L * T AǓ. . q MW + 2. . . . WaterĆContinuousĆPhase Retention As previously mentioned. C-2 by converting rate to barrels per day. . convection will drive some of the warm incoming flow into the water-bath above the oil-phase spreader. . At any specific fluid temperature. . Recommended values of k are presented in Table 1.) From the outlet. In the initial stage of separation. . 5—Effect of interface depression on spreader-flow capactiy. which was adapted from an equation presented in Ref. 1 would result in wasting most of the heat contained in the water phase. . it might seem that a very low oil/water interface (thus a large oil-blanket volume and small water-bath volume) would be desirable. Maximizing oil temperature also aids coalescence. SPE Production & Facilities. It is recommended that Eq.5 Use of these equations for overall vessel water capacity would be conservative because they do not account for the separation occurring beneath the lower spreader. . However. . . . then radially inward to the water outlet. . . . . separated oil droplets would float up into the apex of the lower spreader and then through the vent pipe into the upper spreader. . In effect. 5) was derived by inspection from Eq. . Because they describe only spreader performance. The low fluid velocity at the spreader perimeter would provide only moderate resistance to this convective current. . the oil blanket may provide a second stage of separation of indeterminate effectiveness for particles not removed from the oil while within the spreader. is a rearrangement of Eq. separable ones. . oil from the spreader enters the oil blanket at the bottom. Eq. 5 be used to estimate vessel-water capacity. is providing residence time for coalescence of small water droplets into larger. The lower spreader of the subject vessel prevents this. The absolute value signs within the specific-gravity term are necessary because this term would otherwise be negative in the case of oil separation. however. vessel heat loss to the atmosphere can be estimated with Eq. Therefore. but not deep in the flow stream. . .Fig. 6) may be removed from water near the top of this flow stream. A significant water-bath volume will enhance the previously mentioned convection process. 56 Fig. oil-phase retention time is not the only factor to be considered. . the spreader area is used twice for oil and solids removal from the water phase. . separable ones. (5) and d p + 6. . . However.1603 10 6ǒd 2sw * d 2FǓǒŤg p * g wŤǓd 2pńm w. . they are conservative when used to calculate overall vessel performance because they do not include the contribution of coalescence and additional separation occurring in the oil blanket. . the gunbarrel designs shown in Fig. 3. Solids removed in this stage settle to the tank bottom. The water-phase-capacity equation (Eq. resulting in high-oil and -solids content of the effluent water. realizing that the results will be somewhat conservative. 6 is a rearrangement of Eq. . Oil Blanket We previously mentioned that the primary contribution of the oil blanket was providing residence time for coalescence of small water droplets into larger. . . The reverse would be true of solid particles. oil droplets float up into the upper (oil-phase) spreader and solids settle to the conical surface of the lower spreader. . 7. 3) was derived from Eq. The oil-phase spreader separationcapacity equation (Eq. q MO + 2. water enters an external siphon that controls the oil/water interface. The apparent water-phase flow path of the subject design is radially outward from the flume entry ports to the perimeter of the lower (waterphase) spreader. the particle-design-diameter equation. . 4. . common gunbarrels allow the water continuous phase to short-circuit from the point of liquid entry to the water outlet. (4) 0. 5 and defines the design-particle diameter as a function of qMW.8037 10 –4ƪq MO m ońǒd 2s * d 2FǓǒg p * g oǓƫ . February 1996 .5 These related equations are useful for estimating separation capacity (or design-particle diameter) for removal of either water or solids.

separable ones. Consequently. Thus. L2. D-9 was used to determine the gauge of sheet steel required to prevent the spreader from floating should it become completely oil-filled. Insufficient gas separation capacity could result in water and wet oil being dumped on top of clean oil leaving the vessel. It is assumed that the subject gunbarrel is uninsulated and that the inflow is 2. 4.) 11/32 5/16 9/32 17/64 1/4 15/64 7/32 13/64 3/16 11/64 5/32 9/64 1/8 7/64 Wu (lbm/ft2) 13.000 BWPD at a temperature of 100°F. Oil processed at 94.7°F average tank-liquid temperature is calculated with Eq. a 70. The resulting liquid temperature would be 94.000 4. Thus.8°F.96 3. separation effectiveness will not necessarily track with observed residence-time data when comparing dissimilar vessels because the latter is a measure of volumetric displacement. First.5 ft for hc . An additional benefit of maintaining a high oil/water interface is that oil temperature is less affected by short duration decreases in ambient air temperature because more heat is stored. and not directly by efficient use of vessel volume. ft 57 . Buoyancy Considerations The subject vessel was initially water filled.) using Eq.TABLE 1—VALUES OF HEAT LOSS CONSTANT (k) Wind Velocity (mph) 0 5 10 20 k—Bare Steel (BTU/hr ft2 °F) 2. steel weighing 10. and the oil/water-interface depth at the neutral point (if one exists). cm ds +oil-phase spreader diameter. the buoyant force applied to the lower spreader will equal the weight of the water displaced by steel (Wgw /gs ). and facilitating the convection process of diverting influent water into the water-bath by raising the oil/water interface will increase oil-blanket temperature. and 1. 5. The upper spreader is also properly vented and submerged in water but entraps oil. 5.0-. and a resultant oil-flow rate of 5. hs . which is a function of the depth of the oil/water interface within the spreader and consequently a function of oil-flow rate. 3. Eq. ft dv +vessel diameter.125 7. 6. L. 00 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Thickness (in. Substituting values of 1.375 force on the spreader would be neutral when the oil/water interface was located 8. In the first case. This amounts to approximately 13. or solids particle. respectively. resulted in Wu +12. Nomenclature AH +horizontal area. all three rows of exit ports would be in operation. Ambient air temperature is 40°F and wind velocity is 10 mph (thus k+4. respectively. The following example demonstrates how these equations were used in the design of the subject gunbarrel. Buoyancy should always be considered in the design of vessel internals that can entrap oil beneath the oil/water interface.7°F would not.000 9. Oil-blanket temperature is less affected by short duration decreases in ambient air temperature when a high oil/water interface is maintained because more heat is stored. D-8 through D-10 are expressions for the buoyed weight of the top spreader (including the oil entrapment effect). from the top of the skirt (Z+8.500 6. L. the net force on the spreader will be downward so long as the oilflow rate does not exceed this value. whereas for a heated vessel it is the heat-transfer medium.250 10. Consequently.5 Btu/lbm°F. Sheet steel of this thickness would be difficult to get and work with. An improved oil-phase spreader has been developed that provides uniform radial distribution over a wide range of flow rates and is relatively insensitive to minor misleveling. February 1996 TABLE 2—SHEET STEEL DATA Gauge No. ft dh +diameter of exit ports in spreader skirt. in.20 Btu/hr ft2 °F). D-8 was then used to determine the buoyed spreader weight under oil-filled conditions by setting Z+12 in. Eq. The greatest contribution of the oil blanket is providing residence time for coalescence of small water droplets into larger. Thus.25-.000 BO and 8.875 6. Optimum oil-blanket thickness is a compromise between oilresidence time and oil temperature in nonheated vessels that capture water-phase heat. L. regardless of the relative volumes occupied by oil and water. The oil blanket may provide a second stage of separation of indeterminate effectiveness for particles (water or solids) not removed from the oil while within the spreader. Therefore.0-. 2 or observed from Fig. rs .1235 in. 7. the oil provides all of the atmospheric heat loss.855 lbm/ft2. 1. ft2 C +discharge coefficient. Heat-Loss Example. it is desirable to capture as much heat as possible from the water by inducing convection in the water-bath.375 8. In the second case. For these practical reasons.500 11. With the interface at this depth. 4) shows that 00 gauge (11/32-in. ft2 Ah +spreader skirt port area.250 5. It was determined that the resultant SPE Production & Facilities.974 lbf.00 The magnitude of liquid-temperature distribution within a vessel would be very small and the average temperature would be applicable to Eq. L2. 7. 7. it is assumed that all of the water is diverted into the water-bath and that water leaving the vessel is at the average tank-liquid temperature. The foregoing discussion demonstrates that the optimum oil-blanket thickness is a compromise between oil-residence time and oil temperature in nonheated vessels that capture water-phase heat. it is assumed that all produced water short-circuits the vessel. 2. and the lower spreader is properly vented and always totally submerged in water. This calculation resulted in a net upward force of 1.625 5.8°F would likely meet pipeline specifications and that processed at 70. 8.1235 in. dp +design diameter of oil.625 10. Assuming an oil specific-heat capacity of 0. it was necessary to bolt the spreader to the rafters (which were secured to the tank wall and flume) to preclude the possibility of spreader floating. 10. dimensionless dF +flume diameter.264 B/D may be calculated with Eq.00 lbm/ft2. L2. 9.750 8.750 12.02 specific gravity brine. it was decided to use ¼-in. Raising the oil/water interface will increase oil-blanket temperature in nonheated gunbarrels designed to conserve water-phase heat. Conclusions 1. D-10. the weight per square foot of sheet steel required to preclude an unrestrained spreader from floating in the event it becomes oil filled. and rF.12 4.20 5. L. The value of the water-bath in a nonheated gunbarrel is to conserve intrinsic well-stream heat.) steel would be needed to meet this criteria. Heat will flow from the water into the oil blanket. water. Effective separation is accomplished by efficient use of vessel horizontal area. ft2 As +oil-phase spreader surface area. Eqs.26% of spreader weight for 1. 15. illustrated in the following example. Table 2 (extracted from Ref. L. and that buoyancy should always be considered in the design of vessel internals that can entrap oil beneath water. Consequently. it is subjected to a buoyant force in addition to Wgw /gs .

” SPEPF (May 1993) 77. 6. L/t. t. OK (1991) 156.174 ft/sec2 Dh +differential head.: Elementary Fluid Mechanics. Drill & Prod. m/L3. A. T. Vertical and Horizontal Emulsion Treaters. L. DC (1986) 20. Vennard. Inc. ft3 W +oil-phase spreader weight in air. Spec. Trans. m/Lt. lbf g +acceleration of gravity. lbf Wbw +buoyed weight of oil-phase spreader immersed in water. 289. m/L2. At capacity. dimensionless gs +steel specific gravity. L3/t. psia q +flow rate. ft3/sec qg +gas capacity.L. 1990) 52–58. mL/t2.L. Zn +value of Z resulting in neutral force. ft Lv +vessel height.: “New Perspective on Oil and Gas Separator Performance. The contribution of Bob Adam with Tank Tec Inc. third edition. m/L3. t. T. dimensionless mo +dynamic viscosity of oil continuous phase. ft/sec L +height. Radial Flow. National Tank Co. mL2/t3. L. Washington. mL/t2. B/D Q +heat-loss rate.Fig. AIME. SPE Production & Facilities. L3/t. 2. lbm/ft3 òo +oil density at separation conditions. scf/D qh +port flow rate. Tulsa. John Wiley & Sons. 7). of working out various fabrication details is gratefully acknowledged. Prac. go +oil specific gravity. in. The time required for the particle to settle to the interface is presented in Eq. cp mw +dynamic viscosity of water continuous phase. L/t2. sec ts +particle settling time.. oF TL +liquid temperature.” API. L. dsw +water-phase spreader diameter. L.: “A Wash-Tank Design. L. L.K. New York City (1954) 304. ft D +distance from an oil-phase-spreader port down to the internal oil/water interface. 5. dimensionless Z +distance from oil-phase-spreader skirt top to internal oil/water interface. L3. L3/t. L3/t. 6a depicts the radial (horizontal) flow regime within the oil-phase spreader. References 1. third edition. ft3/sec qMO +oil capacity. cp òg +gas density at separation conditions. Williams. B/D qMW +water capacity. mL/t2. For complete separation. ft k +constant from heat-loss equation (Eq. m/t3T. L. lbf Fbs +buoyant force resulting from oil accumulation within the oil-phase-spreader skirt.. Fbc +buoyant force resulting from water being displaced by oil in the conical portion of the oil-phase spreader. Fig. (1953) 272. Powers. B/D qo +oil-flow rate. lbf Wb +resultant buoyed weight of oil-phase spreader. m/Lt2. in. ft hc +altitude of cone frustum portion of oil-phase spreader. T. 6— Effect of (a) radial flow and (b) vertical flow direction on separation. 32. L. L3/t. Engineering Handbook of Conversion Factors. L. m/Lt. BTU/Hr rF +flume radius.: “Analysis of Gravity Separation in Freewater Knockouts. dimensionless gw +produced water specific gravity. oil-filled spreader from floating. BTU/hr ft2 °F K +separator performance constant. ft rs +oil-phase spreader radius. 3. L3/t. API. lbm/ft3 Acknowledgment I thank Conoco for the opportunity to work on this project and Larry Gaertner for his input and construction supervision. lbm/ft2 58 z +supercompressability factor. oR vb +bulk-flow velocity. the water droplet (or sand grain) shown at the top of the interior cylinder (representing the flume) must reach the base of the exterior cylinder (representing the intersection of the oil/water interface and the spreader skirt). m/L2. the particle would take the path shown. ft/sec Vc +volume of cone frustum portion of oil-phase spreader. Powers. sec T +absolute gas temperature. A-1. L/t. mL/t2. psia ps +absolute standard pressure.R. dimensionless gp +particle specific gravity. L/t. Plug flow is assumed in all cases. and all velocities (regardless of direction) are considered positive. ft p +absolute operating pressure. L/t. oR TA +ambient air temperature. ft/sec vs +average fluid velocity at the oil-phase skirt. ft hs +height of oil-phase-spreader skirt. Appendix AĊEffect of Flow Direction on Separation The following demonstrates that gravity separation capacity is independent of the direction of bulk flow in vessels for which AH does not vary with depth. L. ft/sec vt +terminal velocity of a settling particle. 12L.” SPEPE (Feb. lbf Wu +unit mass of sheet steel. ft tr +residence time. M. before the bulk flow exits through the spreader-skirt ports. J.. L. T. in. 4. February 1996 . mL/t2. m/Lt2. oF Ts +absolute standard temperature. M. lbm/ft2 Wun +value of Wu required to preclude an unrestrained. B/D qmo +oil capacity.

. . . . . C-1 into Eq. . . . D-9 was derived from Eq. . . . . .5 10 –3d 2h ƪD(g w * g o)ńg oƫ .t s + Lńv t. . (D-9) If application of Eq. . . .5 . . . . . A-4. (B-1) In this equation. . vb +vt . . A-5 reduces to the following expression for qmo as a function of dp . . . (D-3) The volume of liquid contained within the oil-phase spreader is analyzed as two components. . . . The foregoing illustrates that gravity separation capacity equals the product of horizontal cross-sectional area and particle terminal velocity in a plug-flow regime. . . W un + . Dh + D(g w * g o)ń12g o. .74ǒg p * g oǓd 2pńm o. the level of which being determined by qo ). (C-1) Substituting Eq. . . . . 3. (D-7) Eq.37(g w * g o)ƪǒ h cń3 Ǔǒr 2s ) r s r F * 2r 2FǓ ) h sǒr 2s * r 2FǓƫ NJ ǒ1 * g wńg sǓ 2r s h s ) [r s ) r F]ƪh 2c ) (r s * r F) 2ƫ 0. . . A-5). . . F bs + 62. . . . A s + 2pr s h s ) p(r s ) r F)ƪh 2c ) (r s * r F) q mo + 140. The volume of the first component is expressed in Eq. . . . . Eq. . . . . . . .5 Nj 5. . . . . . . . . . the value of Z resulting in a neutral force may be computed with Eq. . . . The equation for Dh (Eq.5 Nj –62. . . . D-5. . . . . . Vertical Flow. . . B-2) is obvious from inspection of Fig. B-1. the spreader will float unless it is attached to the tank. . . . . 0. illustrated in Fig. . . 5) expresses Stoke’s law for a settling particle in oil. 6b depicts vertical oil-phase flow in a separation vessel. . . . (D-8) In the event Wb becomes negative. (D-1) The equation for spreader weight in air (Eq. . . (A-1) Flow rate may be expressed as Eq. Fig. . . which follows from Eq. . (D-5) Eq. . D-8 may be used to calculate Wb under this condition by setting Z=12 hs . . . . . . .5 Nj. . . . q + p d s L v s. (A-2) Residence time equals volume divided by rate (Eq. . (D-6) The resultant buoyed weight of the oil-phase spreader follows. . . . . . . . . . . . D-2) was derived by multiplying the surface area (expressed in Eq. .174 ft/sec2 to C and g. . . . . 6. the capacity formula for horizontal flow. . and D-6 into D-7.5 q + CA h(2gDh) . . and is developed by the interface depression. D-2. . . . . . . . . D-1) by Wu .37p Z ǒr 2s * r 2FǓ(g w * g o)ń12. . . . . 2 62. B-3. . . . . . . . . Using well-known formulas. . . . . . . The result is Wun . .5 q + CA hƪgD(g w * g o)ń6g oƫ . . (B-4) Appendix CĊRelationship of OilĆPhaseĆSpreader Capacity and Particle Size Eq. and solving for Wu . . . .1975(g w * g o)ǒr 2s * r 2FǓ 59 . . and is independent of bulk-flow direction. W b + W bw * F bc * F bs. . . . . . . (C-2) Appendix DĊDerivation of Equations Relevant to Buoyancy The surface area of the oil-phase spreader consists of a cylinder and a frustum of a cone. . . 3. . . (D-4) The buoyant force resulting from water being displaced from the conical component by oil is shown in Eq. . Substituting this expression for vs into Eq. vs + ǒd 2s * d 2FǓ 4d s L v t.5 s s Nj. . . . . . . . . . . when the spreader is oil filled and spillover is impending. . . . . . . . . . . . . . (A-3) 4 ds vs At capacity ts +tr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 of Ref. . . . . . SPE Production & Facilities. . . . A-2 yields the separation capacity equation (Eq. . . . (B-2) Eq. and substituting p dh 2/576 for Ah in Eq. D-8 by setting Wb +0 and solving for Z. Thus. . . . . . . . . . .5 Nj . . Equating Eqs. D-4. . . . D-5. . A-5 is also valid for linear horizontal flow. this area can be expressed as follows. D-3. . . . . . . . . . . . q + 7. . . .37(g w * g o)pƪǒ h cń3 Ǔǒr 2s ) r s r F * 2r 2FǓ ) Zǒr 2s * r 2FǓń12ƫ . . . A-2. . . v t + 178. . D-8 by setting Wb +0 and Z=12 hs . . A-5. . . NJ 2 W u ǒ1 * g wńg sǓ 2r s h s ) [r s ) r F]ƪh 2c ) (r s * r F) ƫ Zn + 0. tr + p ǒd 2s * d 2FǓ L 4p d s L v s + d 2s * d 2F . . . . . . . . . B-1). . . . . February 1996 ƫ 0. A-3). . . . . . 5 shows that Eq. qmo +AH vt . . A-1 and A-3 yields Eq.6 and 32. C-1 (adapted from Eq. . . . (A-4) and q mo + pǒd 2s * d 2FǓv tń4 + A Hv t. . . . . . . . . . . D. . . . Separation can occur only if the water droplet (or sand grain) shown within the cylinder has a terminal velocity exceeding the upward bulk-flow velocity. D-6 describes the buoyant force resulting from oil accumulation within the spreader skirt. . . . . . . . . and (2) a spool defined by the spreader skirt and flume (which will contain an o/w interface. . . D-10.37(g w * g o)ǒ ph cń3 Ǔǒr 2s ) r s r F * 2r 2FǓ . . s F . . . . This expression is identical to Eq. . 0. . . D-3. . . (D-2) The buoyed weight of the spreader immersed in water is given by Eq. Therefore. . . which follows from Eq. . . . . q+AH vb .38ǒd 2s * d 2FǓǒg p * g oǓd 2pńm o. V c + ǒ ph cń3 Ǔǒr 2s ) r s r F * 2r 2FǓ. . . (A-5) Ref. NJ W b + W u ǒ1 * g wńg sǓp 2r s h s ) [r s ) r F]ƪh 2c ) (r s * r F) 2 ƫ 0. . NJ 2pr h ) p(r ) r ) W bw + W u ǒ1–g wńg sǓ ƪh2c ) (r s * rF)2ƫ 0. (B-3) Eq. . . . NJ W + W u 2pr s h s ) p(r s ) r F)ƪh 2c ) (r s * r F) 2 ƫ 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B-3 was derived by substituting Eq. at capacity. The maximum buoyant effect occurs at high qo . . . This equation was derived from Eq. Appendix B Ċ Derivation of PortĆFlowĆRate Equation Flow rate through the oil-phase-spreader skirt ports would obey the common orifice flow equation (Eq. . . . . . . . . . Dh pertains to the flowing fluid (oil phase). . . . . Table 1 presents the thickness and Wu for tank steel of various gauge numbers. . Eq. . D-8 indicates that a net upward force could occur. . . .578 0. B-2 into Eq. . . D-8 was derived by substituting Eqs. B-4 is the result of assigning values of 0. . . . . . the unit weight of sheet steel in lbm/ft2. respectively. . . . . . . By inspection. D-4. . . . . . . . (1) a frustum of a cone minus a small diameter cylinder (which will always be oil filled). . . . . . . . . which was extracted from Ref. F bc + 62. . . . . . .

048* E*01 +m ft2 9. of Oklahoma. Powers is a consultant in Oklahoma City. . His interests include waterflooding. . received a 1993 Central Plains Region Service Award and the 1995 SPE Production Engineering Award. . February 1996 . was on the Facilities Engineering CommitĆ tee. .448 222 E)00 +N lbm 4.* 4h cǒr 2s ) r s r F * 2r 2FǓ . .831 685 E*02 +m3 °F (°F*32)/1. and production faciliĆ ties.535 924 E*01 +kg mile 1. . Powers holds BS and MS degrees in petroleum engineering from the U. .8 +°C in. . . . . . . .5)°API)+g/cm3 Btu 1.894 757 E)00 +kPa °R 5/9 +°K *Conversion factor is exact. and is currently a SPEPF review chairman. 2.290 304* E*02 +m2 ft3 2.54* E)00 +cm lbf 4.609 344* E)00 +km psi 6. . . EOR.055 056 E)00 +kJ cp 1. . . . artificial lift. 60 SPE Production & Facilities. . SPEPF Maston L. .5/(131. Powers served as Program Chairman for four Production Operations symposia. . (D-10) r 2s * r 2F SI Metric Conversion Factors °API 141.0* E*03 +Pa@s ft 3. .