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Bilectric Dehydrators/Desalters

State-of-the-Art Efficient Systems

Technologically advanced
electrostatic dehydrators/
desalters for the treatment of
crude oil prior to storage,
transportation, or refining.
Petreco Dehydrators/Desalters are electrostatic
precipitators used to remove salt and other
contaminants from crude oil prior to the distillation
process. The Bilectric design utilizes a unique
three-grid electrode system and horizontal
emulsion distribution for superior oil/water pool of water below. Electrodes are designed
separation performance. and placed to maximize the design of the dual
horizontal distribution system.
The Bilectric desalter has been recognized by
refining industry leaders as the first choice for The distribution system also allows for much more
heavy crude oil processing. Petreco has over a aggressive mixing of the fresh water and crude oil
90-year history of successful installations. In two- so that when coalescence occurs, more impurities
stage installations, salt removal efficiencies of up are removed with the water and cleaner treated
to 99% are routinely achievable. product is realized. The strong electric field is also
less dependent on chemicals for coalescence, so
Operating Principle & Key Features lower chemical consumption is typical.
In electrostatic desalting, crude oil may be heated
Clean oil, freed of contaminants, continuously
to decrease the viscosity. The crude oil is intimately rises to the top of the vessel and flows out, while
mixed with freshwater, which is dispersed in the
the accumulated water and sediment mixture is
crude oil as small droplets. The water-in-oil automatically withdrawn from the bottom of the
dispersion is then introduced into the pressurized
vessel for disposal. The dual distribution system
desalter vessel where a high voltage electrical field
gives the Bilectric desalter significantly better
accelerates separation of the water laden with salt treating capacity than a vertical flow desalter.
and other contaminants
combined in the oil.
Distributors feed the Bilectric Design
crude and emulsified
water in two parallel
horizontal streams
between the three
electrodes. The oil
emulsion streams
flowing outward from
the distributor
encounter optimal
conditions for
As coalescence
proceeds, water
droplets grow large
enough to overcome
the viscosity of the
crude and fall due to
gravity. They descend
in a rain-like pattern
out of the flowing oil
into the nonturbulent

Proven Experience Reliable Operation Superior Performance

Petreco Dehydrators/Desalters
Product Range transporting the crude. They set the Applications
standard by which other units are
Petreco designs equipment to meet Oil Production
the specific needs of our clients. Onshore & Offshore
Our vast experience includes some of Bilectric
the following: FPSOs
The Bilectric desalter permits the
Crude oil in Venezuela and Refining & Chemical Processing
maximum throughput, flexibility and
Canada of 12 API up to 50 API reliability for any given vessel size,
Saudi crudes handles a wide range of crude oil Installations Examples
Single unit flow rates from 1,000 BPD gravities and viscosities and works Arctic - Russia, Canada
to 300,000 BPD (160 m 3/day to with minimum operator supervision. Jungle - Nigeria, Venezuela
47,700 m3/day) with the ability to The dual flow configuration provides
combine multiple units up to twice the capacity per unit Desert - Algeria, Saudi Arabia,
volume of vessel than that of vertical Kuwait
BS&W down to 0.2% typically
flow desalters. The Bilectric design Offshore - North Sea, Brazil, Gulf of
Benefits & Advantages holds water level high, near mid- Mexico
vessel, to allow maximum residence
These units have proven reliable Onshore - Throughout the world
time for oil to separate from effluent
experience of more than 20 years
water. The smaller size and weight
and there are thousands of units
are also particularly advantageous in
operating worldwide in a wide variety
offshore applications.
of applications.
Throughput flexibility
Feedtype flexibility CRUDE OIL
High quality water

Reduced operation
and maintenance costs
Low Velocity
Velocity Bilectric
Reduced chemical
Excellent flow distribution
Rapid complete
coalescence with
minimal electrical power


Low Velocity ELECTRODE

The Low Velocity desalter, with (3 TIERS)

a time-tested non-plugging
distribution system, operates
best on light to medium crudes
and requires minimum operator
supervision. With an inverted pan
distributor the oil-water emulsion is
distributed evenly throughout the LEVEL
electrical field. Emulsion distribution is CONTROL
self-adjusting and self-compensating
for flow rate changes. INLET
performers in high Blends added wash water

water cut applications, with impurities in the

crude through a shearing
where large volumes of action which forms fine,
water must be emulsified water droplets. EFFULENT
removed prior to CRUDE INLET

Copyright 2003, Petreco International Inc. All rights reserved. POV001-02/06/2003