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Alternatives study for the technical

improvement of the Campo Arce crude oil
quality
(Estudio de las alternativas para el mejoramiento técnico de la
calidad del crudo pesado del campo Arce)

ABSTRACT
This document is a thesis done in the production area in order to make a
technical analysis of alternatives that may increase the market share of the
heavy crude oil from Campo Arce, belonging to the company Kappa Resources
Colombia Ltda. Which produces with a high percentage of water output and an
API gravity of 12°API to 60°Farenheit, which lists this as a heavy crude oil with
a high percentage of heavy metals (Nickel and Vanadium). The study of this
thesis exposes 3 treatment systems of heavy crude oil that are proposed like
alternatives for “Campo Arce”, these alternatives are: implement type S
centrifugal from the Alfa Lava Company, a mixture of oil from “Campo Arce”
with crudes of a higher API from other oilfields, and an improved plant oil by
solvent injection. Standing out as the best economic alternative technique, the
improved plant oil, since it has centrifugation systems that separate the heavy
oil phase, (water and solids), and deasphalted crude from Campo Arce. In the
document it can be found the technical and financial analysis of the three
alternatives, standing out as practical and economical alternative the plant for
enhanced features of the Campo Arce heavy crude oil. For evaluation it takes
into account the functionality, adaptability for Campo Arce, and the fulfillment
of the objectives that are to reduce the percentage of water present and
redeem the solids in the crude oil.
Keywords: catalyst, coalescence, density, electrostatic, emulsifier, emulsion,
centrifugal force, upgrading, BS&W, BOPD.

1. Introduction
Heavy crude oil production brings
some
complications
for
marketing and sales, as its high
water content, the amount of
dissolved
solids,
and
high
viscosity. This in some cases
prevents it to be sold and
shipped, so it is necessary to
seek
alternative
surface
treatments
before
becoming

transported through the
pipelines in the country.

oil

KAPPA Resources Colombia Ltd,
it’s an operating company that
increasingly
gives
more
importance to the application of
new techniques in the heavy
crude oil business, with Campo
Arce, which is a producer of
heavy crude oil with a API gravity
of 12.6o, with large amounts of
ashes, nickel and vanadium, 33%

in Campo Arce and thus reduce costs in processes for the good development of future drilling development wells in the area. The Mugrosa formation is the principal reservoir and it consists . deasphalting processes by the injection of solvents.2% of paraffin. It also exist a storage in the Colorado formation (late Oligocene). the researchers analyzed several different techniques employed in heavy oil wells in different parts of the world. that achieve the decrease of viscosity and percentage of total solids by weigh. 2. the percentage of implicit water in the oil and be marketed as an oil more attractive for the oil industry. because the product specifications do not meet the standards required by law to be transported to the refineries in the country. The hydrocarbon reservoir rock correspond to one unit of the tertiary: Mugrosa (early Oligocene). located between the ranges of 2447 – 2891 feet. and topdressing for building roads. en the department of Santander. Campo Arce Campo Arce it’s located on the western edge of the Contrato de Asociación las Quinchas. approximately 2700’ depth and a production of 6 BOPD. technically and economically alternatives that improves the own characteristics of crude Arce. The study of alternatives of this thesis seeks to determine if both technical and economical feasible to implement a given process or treatment for the crude of Campo Arce. It is commercialized only as a boiler fuel.of asphalt and 6. The alternatives ranged from simple mixtures of lightweight crude with the heavy crude oil of Campo Arce. and the use of centrifugal discs as a separation method of heavy oil fractions of the crude like the water and suspension solids. Campo geology Arce Arce produce heavy crude oil from the watershed of Valle Medio del Magdalena. There were analyzed. 3 km from the village of Puerto Berrio (Antioquia). To achieve this goal of this thesis.1. from the Mugrosa formation. The thesis was made to reduce the solids content of crude Arce. 2. The thesis searched to analyze new improvement techniques for the characteristics of heavy crude oil made by KAPPA Resources Colombia Ltd. The first well that was drilled in the field was Arce-1 by the Texaco Company in 1984 which proved crude of 13oAPI in the formation Mugrosa.

laval The production characteristics of Campo Arce allows the adjustment of type S Alfa-Laval centrifugal systems.108% m/m. and thus ending to evaporate de water bounded to the crude.2%. The formation water composition varies along the reservoir vertically and laterally. ashes in a 0. the crude is transported to tanks where the respective heat treatment is made. 3. Evaluation of alternatives for the improvement of Arce oil. and an asphaltene content of 33% and paraffin of 6. of 59ppm in total. especially in situations where asphalts obtaining is required due to the high content of asphaltenes presented in this crude (up to 20%).1132% with an average size of 13 microns.2% of heavy hydrocarbons (paraffin and asphaltenes). It hasn’t been possible to identify a tendency that achieve to describe the distribution of this variations.of coarse-grained sandstone and sandy gravel medium with cross stratification. allowing the emulsion to stabilize and be easier the rupture through the induced force from the centrifugal to the fluid and the suspension solids. The operation principle of the module it’s based on a centrifugal separation that takes place within the equipment.1.2. with an average API gravity of 12. Heavy crude oil treatment by centrifugal separator type s alfa. After the stage of washing. and 39. Vanadium and ashes of 0. at the input of multiple production is injected a breaking of emulsion. Type separator adaptability Campo Arce. The reservoir produces oil with high asphaltene content. intercepted by large permanent streams. deposited mass or fining cycles within an extensive coastal plain. for the process to be satisfactory. 4. The separation of the gas liquid fases of the Arce crude take just with the washing treatment. Campo Arce has an average production of 300 BOPD. after the liquid has been heated to the optimal operational temperature that is 110oF. 2. Before this. S for . Generally the oil of Campo Arce it’s used as raw material for boilers. 4. with a water cut of 47%. for a total of dissolved solids of Nickel.1. solution solids (Nickel and Vanadium).6o.1. 4. Produced water and crude properties of the field.

which is typical in this heavy type crudes because of their content of high asphaltenes.2. they used the following equation: API ¿ ¿ APIj ¿ ¿ o ¿ ❑ + Xj ¿ Xi ¿ API ℑ=¿ ¿ Where:      4.7%.2. The Arce emulsion will be heated to increase the effectiveness of the process to an average temperature of 50oC.2. Xj: component j fraction presented in the mixture. To have a desire API gravity of 20o in the mixture the researches .1. because the water drops losses their weight and reduced.The centrifugal separation system. o APIj: API gravity of the j component. To find the necessary considerations to do the mixture between the different crudes. if it becomes feasible its implementation. The treatment of Arce crude oil through mixtures with light crudes it’s a possible option for the improvement of the Arce crude quality. the components of the mixture and the final API gravity. 4. Arce crude dilution with crudes of greater API gravity. Mixture analysis. By reducing the water content of the emulsion the separation of the phases becomes difficult. it will be located in the washing stage after the density differential separation made by the washing tank. are wrapped easier by oil drops. Arce crude with Samarkanda crude.6o API to 13o o API Im: API gravity of the resulting mixture.2. reducing pressure losses by viscosity and increasing the centrifugal separation level. The crude of Campo Arce have in its principal characteristics an API variation form 11. API in the producing wells. The equipment has its own heater which is controlled directly from the type S separator console. The washing tank of the Campo Arce station receives Arce crude with BS&W of 47% and delivers it to his output after the 15 minutes residence period with a BS&W lower of 11. 4. a result of the Karl-Fisher test measurement at the end of the washing stage. o APIi: API gravity of the i component. Xi: component i fraction presented in the mixture.

Increase the Gas Oil production of the heavy crude. Precipitate asphaltenes and heavy fractions. The alternative work using a centrifugal separation system to heavy crudes that had been diluted previously with solvents like the propane o solvents cut types. Conclusions The researches found that it wasn’t profitable to the other two filds that produce the Abanico and Samarkanda crudes because the rentability of these crudes where affected in a 15% and 21% respectively. . They founded this using the equation: o . The obtained solvent of the mixture is reused and it goes to the initial parto of the cycle. Also. that are mixtures of solvents for the vaporation of this can be controlled and secure. The mixture solventcrude is treated later in the process for the recovery of the solvent used and separed the crude phase from the mixture made at the beginning.61 ( 24.3. Arce crude with Abanico crude. 4.found that its necessary 1 barrel of Arce crude and 1 barrel of Samarkanda crude.8 ) +0. The deasphalting by solvent inyection its actually used as a method to obtain better benefits and make a better use of the oil qualities. this alternative was discarded.39 4. the researches found that it was needed to transport the crudes so they can be mixed. Deasphalting process by solvents.5(12.5(27. Obtain comercial asphalt from raw crude. 4. and the profit that the crude Arce gives cant handle the cost of transportation.39 ( 12. like solution metals and asphalt presented in the crude. The purposes of the system are:      Remove asphalt from heavy oils. API ℑ= [ 0. A solvent deasphalting proces known in the industry is the PDA (Propane Deasphalthing).2.56 barrels of Abanico crude.2. To have a desired API gravity of 20o they found that they need to mix 1 barrel of arce crude with 1. They founded this by using the formula: o .56 = 0.6 ) ] 1.3.61/0. So. it consist of a dilution of crude with solvent followed by a vacuum distillation where the heavy parts are separated.3)+ 0. Obtaining more light fractions of crude. API ℑ= [ 0.6) ] The result of this gave them 20o.4.

Therefore. increase of API gravity. fulfilling the objectives of the project. 5. Conclusions The alternatives proposed in the document are noted for their ability to reduce suspended solids percentage. Mixing the Arce crude with lighter crudes let the Arce crude to increase its marketing and attractiveness. heavy fractions reduction. this alternative highlights. . and The thesis concludes that it is necessary de centrifugation and separation sistems to separate de heavy fraccions of asphalt from de Campo Arce crude. The alternative to implement after performing appropriate laboratory tests. at the same time the viscosity decreases and marketing is provided. deasphalting process by solvents. the heavy metals are retained by the aphalt and expelled to the centrifugal in the same time the asphalt is separated from the crude. 7. significantly decreasing the amount of water leaving the treatment increase the API gravity oil. is the improvement plant oil by injection of solvents. 6. this system for the improvement of oil is set as an alternative for the improvement of the quality of Campo Arce heavy crude. provides positive results in the oil initial characteristics. but nevertheless the costs associated with the transport don’t let the alternative to be approved showing that the investments in the process do not show a rentability to the field. If the recommended volume relationship of Arce crude and solvent. is used. and decrease water and suspended solids from a process involving centrifugation. for this case is propane.When PDA is done in the right conditions. at the end we will have a crude with higher API and a less quantity of disolved solids.