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Oil, gas and water collection, transportation and treatment

UDC 622.276.8

Operating Experience of the Unified Oil Sedimentation Tanks with Hydrostatic Liquid Distribution Developed by Research and Production Enterprise Contex A.V. Berman, V.A. Nazarov, G.M. Trofimov (Joint Stock Company Orenburgneft), A.G. Sokolov (Joint Stock Company Giprovostokneft), E.F. Shabashev (Research and Production Enterprise Contex Company Ltd.)
Oilfield dehydration of oil is one of the main technological processes of oil extraction where heat and chemical division of oil emulsion phases is implemented by means of dynamic sedimentation. In spite of seemed simplicity of sedimentation apparatus design processes which occur inside them are rather complicated and diversified and to some extend arent studied well enough. In all variety of sedimentation apparatus design it is possible to point out conventionally two types of vessels - tanks with vertical flow of dispersive (oil) and dispersed (water) mediums (OVD) and tanks with horizontal flow direction of separated phases (OGD). Comparative industrial tests of sedimentation tanks [1], carried out by Oil and Gas Extractive Enterprise Uganskneft (oil density is 0,877 g/cubic centimeter) revealed the advantages of tanks with vertical flow of separated phases when input of emulsion goes into waste water layer. It was estimated that main influence on the effectiveness of emulsion separation exerts intermediate layer of concentrated emulsion located on border of oil and gas separated phases [2]. Two sub-layers are clearly seen in the intermediate layer: the first is a high water content (concentrated) sub-layer on phase division border and the second one is a changeable water content sublayer which is located above the first sub-layer. In the high water content sub-layer content of dispersed phase is up to 90 per cent. In this sub-layer process of coalescence of enlarged water drops finalizes and water is discharged from oil phase. In the changeable water content sub-layer content of water changes along its height from 40-50 per cent at the bottom of the sub-layer to 8-10 per cent at the border of the sub-layer and oil phase. In this sublayer process of coalescence of water drops up to critical dimension when they are able to sediment by gravity force in dispersive (oil) counter-flow develops. An intermediate layer represents a boiling coalescence filter which height depends on crude oil water content, temperature, quality of emulsifier treatment and output capacity. Total height of intermediate layer rises almost linearly according to growth of water content in crude oil [2]. Growth of efficiency of using intermediate layer as coalescence nozzle is reached in sedimentation tanks developed by RPE Contex, so called BUONs (block unified sedimentation tanks), by means of hydrostatic flow distribution which allows to improve oil emulsion phase separation inside the tank by: - reduction of stagnant zones or their elimination; - emulsion treatment for separation right inside the apparatus; - emulsion distribution all over the surface of phase division; - reduction of input crude oil velocity into intermediate layer; - non-pressure free water separation; - excluding of free gas influence on the process of phase separation; - separated gas output from the apparatus containing oil without forming congestions in pipelines. A structural scheme of sedimentation tank BUON is shown on picture 1. The sedimentation tank has casing 1 with emulsion input socket 2, oil output socket 3, which is connected with uterine pipe with perforated branch pipes 4 , water output sockets 5 at butt-ends of apparatus and phase division control socket 6. For reducing of stagnant zones volume and distribution of dehydrated oil over the surface of phase division there is a box 7 installed inside casing 1 along its axe with lengthwise partitions 8. There are apertures 9 and 10 at the lower part of box sides and partitions 8. Above apertures 9 of box 7 there is a system of distributing chutes 11.

Oil, gas and water collection, transportation and treatment

Picture 1. Structural and technological scheme of sedimentation tank BUON The chutes are implemented in form of angles and are installed on movable beams located along the walls of casing. They have a possibility of vertical moving for the purpose of adjusting their horizontal mounting inside the apparatus before its putting to operation. These technical solutions provided reduction of input velocity of crude oil into intermediate layer. For instance, in the tank of 200 cubic meters the distance between the chutes are 45 centimeters, their quantity is 40, and distance from overflow edge of the chute to phase division is 1020 centimeters. Thus over the edge of the chute having length 3 meters theoretically 10 liters of oil per day would overflow to provide capacity of apparatus 6300 cubic meters per day. In such case thickness of stream falling from the edge of the chute does not exceed few millimeters and its smashing gives not large drops of oil in the water which do not strongly hit the intermediate layer. To prevent free gas influence on oil dehydration process in the intermediate layer cover of the box 7 is made convex and is constructed from two lifting leaves. This provides access to the walls of tank for examining of apparatus condition during its running. For gas output from below the box 7 on its butt-end walls apertures 12 connected with branch pipes 14 are made. Besides in oil output socket 3 local resistance is installed. It is made in the form of conical plug with smaller base turned up. Above the edge of conical plug base there are holes in socket 3. To reduce input emulsion velocity its feed into apparatus is divided for two or three sockets (according to apparatus 100 and 200 cubic meters). On input emulsion sockets 2 packages of plates 13 are installed which divide box cutting on equal parts for creating the most favorable hydrodynamic situation under the box. The box 7 is supplied by height adjusting system of aperture 9 as well as adjusting system of

Oil, gas and water collection, transportation and treatment

distributing chutes 11. Efficiency of sedimentation tanks BUON is studied during industrial operation in modes of preliminary and perfect oil dehydration. The most representative operating experience of BUON is obtained on the stage of perfect heat and chemical oil dehydration on Pokrovsky oil treatment installation of Oil and Gas Extraction Enterprise Buzulukneft of Joint Stock Company Orenburgneft. Oil containing hydrogen sulphide from layers of Pokrovsky, Sorochinsko-Nikolsky, Rodinsky, Soyuzny and Malakhovsky deposits. This oil has the following physical and chemical characteristics: density at 20 centigrades - 0,8300,896 (average 0,86) g/cm3, viscosity - 11,5 mPa, silicagel resins content 4,3619,09 per cent, asphaltens 1,286,20 (average 2,3), parafins 3,376,70 (average 4,1). This oil is from average type according to its characteristics. Water content at the installation input is 7080 per cent, ferrous sulphide is up to 50 g/l. Emulsion is treated by dissolvent emulsifier 4490 with consumption 80 g/t. On the stage of perfect dehydration oil comes after preliminary water disposal having remaining water-in-oil content 525 per cent at the temperature 60 centigrade. At this stage five sedimentation tanks OVD type is running. Each of them has volume 200 cubic meters and supplied by liquid dividers made on field. Sedimentation tank BUON before putting into operation in 1989 had been tested for the output capacity from 1000 up to 9000 cubic meters per day. This means that theoretical velocity of oil f+ iltration through intermediate layer changed from 0,2 to 1,8 meters per hour which corresponded to operation of intermediate layer in the mode of slow filtration. While output capacity of BUON was growing sedimentation tanks OVD-200 were cut of and put into reserve.

Picture 2. Alteration of remaining water in oil content depending on output capacity of sedimentation tank BUON (Pokrovsky oil treatment installation).
Picture 1 shows the dependence of remaining water in oil content from output capacity of sedimentation tank. Water in oil content changes from 0,05 to 0,10 per cent with output capacity growth. It is necessary to point out that these results are obtained on normal operating mode on stage of preliminary disposal. During test running it was a failure of work of this stage. At this period specific features of sedimentation tank operation were revealed. These features were registered when sedimentation tank was filled by oil from reservoir of preliminary disposal in the process of its cleaning (filling with water with pumping out of oil and intermediate layer to the stage of perfect dehydration) as a measure of re-establishing of normal operation mode of installation of preliminary water disposal. Inside sedimentation tank in oil zone theoretical velocity of vertical flow of emulsion was 1,2 meters per hour (capacity 6000 cubic meters per day). On border of phase division it was observed the accumulation of layer containing high quantity of ferrous sulphide which represented paste mass. As oil was pumping out from reservoir of preliminary disposal (volume 5000 cubic meters) the layer grew larger and then at the output of sedimentation tank oil contained only traces of water, this mean that dehydration became more effective. Sharp deterioration of oil quality happened when viscous ferrous sulphide containing layer came up to output divider. After that the sedimentation tank was shut down for cleaning. Thus it is estimated that sedimentation tank BUON is capable to hold solid admixtures (ferrous sulphide) containing in oil. This improves oil dehydration on some modes and sometimes may be used as a measure to prevent

Oil, gas and water collection, transportation and treatment

forming of high quantities of trap oil that causes technological difficulties in many cases of oil treatment. BUON operating was evaluated by quality of draining water at the stage of perfect dehydration. Picture 3 shows the dependence of draining water quality according to emulsion oil content from output capacity of sedimentation tank. Oil content was steadily equal an average level of 50 mg/liter at the capacity range from 2000 up to 5000 cubic meters per day. When capacity rose up to 6500 cubic meters per day oil in water content also rose up to 70 mg/liter. Solid admixtures content was not high, 213 mg/liter. Though rare short (12 minutes) quality variations of draining water: oil content went up to 190 mg/liter, solid admixtures up to 38,6 mg/liter. During BUON tests four working sedimentation tanks were shut down. Analyses of their previous work showed that at their output there was 0,22 per cent of water on average capacity of 1500 cubic meters per day each.

Picture 3. Alteration of oil content in draining water depending on output capacity of sedimentation tank BUON (Pokrovsky oil treatment installation).
Now capacity of Pokrovsky oil treatment installation has risen and every day 1517 tons of oil containing 10 per cent of water come to the stage of perfect dehydration. At this stage 6 apparatus are used. Each has volume 200 cubic meters and is supplied by various distribution devices: - two sedimentation tanks BUON-G-200 with hydrostatic distribution of liquid; - two sedimentation tanks OVD-200-CM each are equipped by two central uterine pipes; - two sedimentation tanks OVD-200-RP equipped by uterine pipes with vast distributive surface [3]. Effectiveness of work of these groups of apparatus is illustrated in table 1 by average results of test analyses of remaining water and salt content in oil

Table 1. Average water and salt content in oil at the output of sedimentation tanks at the stage of perfect dehydration at Pokrovsky oil treatment installation
Sedimentation tank code OVD-200-RP Content Water, per Salt, mg/l cent 0.37 740 0.28 520 1.00 1940 0.24 470

OVD-200-CM Month of 2003 Water, per cent 1.07 1.15 1.84 0.40 Salt, mg/l 2040 2200 3400 760

BUON-G-200 Water, per cent 0.15 0.24 0.38 0.11 Salt, mg/l 247 410 730 210

February March April June

Level of phase division was hold at the mark of 1,21,4 meter from lower generating line of apparatus. According to data in table 1 it is clearly seen that design of distribution system has strong influence on effectiveness of oil dehydration. In the apparatus with central uterine pipe month average remaining water content changed from 0,40 up to 1,84 per cent. In the apparatus with uterine pipes having vast distributive surface (tree-type uterine pipe) effectiveness of oil dehydration raises and its month average water content equals to 0,241,0 per cent. In sedimentation tanks BUON nonpressure hydrostatic dispersed distribution of oil all over oil-water inter-phase surface. Results show that remaining water in oil content is 0,110,38 per cent. It is important to pay attention to such figures as chloride salts content in dehydrated oil that may be used as efficiency index of sedimentation tank operation. The first group of sedimentation tanks provided average content of salt in dehydrated oil from 760 up to 3480 mg/l, the second group 4701940 mg/l, and the third group 210730 mg/l. Such quality indices of dehydrated oil show that sedimentation tanks with distribution by means of uterine pipes

Oil, gas and water collection, transportation and treatment

are not stable for inputs of oil with high (volley) water content. BUONs are more stabile in this way. Industrial tests of sedimentation tanks BUON also took place on preliminary water disposal installation. Installation was supplied by collected oil with density 850860 kg/cm which is considered to be a typical crude oil extracted from carbon layers of Urals and Povolzhsky region and containing hydrogen sulphide. Summary content of resins and asphaltens in oil is 712 per cent, paraffin 3,77,8 per cent. Water content of crude oil was 7075 per cent. Temperature of liquid at the installation input was 24 centigrade. Dissolvent emulsifier 4490 was put into emulsion before input to separation stage at the amount 4050 g/ton. Tests of BUON-G-200 run in two modes: with capacity on liquid 6700 cubic meters per day and 1000011000 cubic meters per day. Month average results are given in table 2. The results in table 2 show that in vast range of capacities on liquid (from 6300 up to 11000 cubic meters per day) preliminary oil dehydration indices were rather high. It is necessary to point out high indices of draining water and their stability during many months of work. In BUON pressure loss did not exceed 0,05 mPa, and on emulsion input device it was 0,01 mPa. It is important to note that different quantity of aggregation-steady emulsion was registered in partly dehydrated oil. For example, at the output of sedimentation tank OVD-200 it was 1220 per cent and at the output of sedimentation tank BUON content of aggregation-steady emulsion was much more less and equaled 2,38,5 per cent.

Table 2. Indices of work of sedimentation tank BUON in the mode of preliminary water disposal Water in oil content at the output, per cent range average 4,811,6 8,3 5,241,0 26,2 Content in draining water of, mg/l Solid admixtures Oil range Average Traces 79 11,5 From traces 330 12,5 up to 10

Mode I II

Capacity on liquid, cm/day 6300 11000

This is stipulated by specific design of sedimentation tank BUON. In this apparatus dispersed and even distribution of emulsion all over inter-phase surface is provided as well as emulsion treatment for separation by means of multiple changes of flow directions and making local disturbances inside water zone by making special partitions and ribs in the box. This structural and technological decision was firstly used in sedimentation tanks and attracts attention as a direction of further investigations and improvements. Thus industrial tests and operation experience of BUON tanks showed that sedimentation tanks with hydrostatic distribution of liquid are unified apparatus which are effectively used in installations of preliminary water disposal and perfect oil dehydration units.

Literature: 1. Comparative industrial tests of new sedimentation tanks. Mansurov R.I., Eremin I.N., Pozdnyshev G.I. etc // Oilfield business. 1979. No 3. 2. Eremin I.N., Mansurov R.I., Abysgildin U.M. Influence of intermediate layer on the process of water and oil emulsion separation// Oilfield business. 1994. No 4.