Gas Processing

Field Separation of oil from gas

Rarely a reservoir can yield pure natural gas.  Hydrocarbon stream produced is a complex mixture of several hydrocarbons, intimately mixed with water.  Often solids and other contaminants are also present.  It is important to remove any solids and contaminants and to separate the produced stream into water, oil and gas which are handled and transported separately.  Gas and liquid separation operations involve the separation and stabilization of these phases into saleable products.

Field processing of natural gas includes: Gas and liquid separation operations to remove the free liquids. 5. or low temperature separation techniques are used. Stage separation .crude oil. Removal of contaminants or otherwise undesirable components . 3. 1. . Further cleaning of the gas and oil streams after separation. 2.such as H2S and other corrosive sulfur compounds and CO2. hydrocarbon condensate. and water and the entrained solids. Recovery of condensable hydrocarbon vapors. 4. Gas dehydration processing to remove from the gas condensable water vapor that may lead to the formation of hydrates.

of sufficient volume to refine the primary separation by removing any entrained liquid from the gas and handle any slugs of liquid.  .SEPARATION EQUIPMENT To efficiently perform its separator functions a well designed separator must  Control and dissipate the energy of the well stream as it enters the separator and provide low enough gas and liquid velocities for proper gravity segregation and vapor-liquid equilibrium.  Have a large settling section.  Remove the bulk of the liquid from the gas in the primary separation section.

Minimize turbulence in the gas section of the separator to ensure proper settling.  Have a mist extractor(or eliminator) near the gas outlet to capture and coalesce the smaller liquid particles that could not be removed by gravity settling.  Have proper control devices for controlling the back pressure and the liquid level in the separator.  Prevent re-entrainement of the separated gas and liquid.  Provide reliable equipment for ensuring safe and efficient operations.  .  Control the accumulation of froths and foams in the vessel.

3. 2.TYPES OF SEPARATORS  1. Separators can be categorized into three basic types: Vertical separators Horizontal separators Spherical separators .


The well stream enters the vertical separator tangentially through an inlet diverter that causes an efficient primary separation by three simultaneous actions on the stream : 1.  Finally a mist extractor at the gas outlet removes any entrained liquid droplets from the gas in the micron size.  .  The smaller liquid droplets that are carried along by the upwards rising gas stream are removed in the centrifugal baffles near the top.while the liquid falls downward into the liquid accumulation section. centrifugation 3. Gravity settling 2. Impingement  The gas from the primary separation section flows upwards .

Advantages : A vertical separator can handle relatively large liquid slugs without carryover into the gas outlet. It occupies less floor space.  1. The tendency of the liquid to revaporize is also minimized . 1. 2. since the upwards flowing gas in the vertical separator opposes the falling droplets of liquid. because less surface area is available to the liquid for evaporation. 2. Disadvantages: They are more expensive to fabricate and more expensive to transport to location. 3. A vertical separator for the same capacity is usually larger than a horizontal separator . a particularly important advantage for operations on an offshore platform where floor area is at a premium. .


Gravity separates the liquids into oil (brown) and water (blue). Both devices require periodic recalibration. This causes liquids to drop to the bottom of the vessel while gas (red) rises to the top. .Separation begins with well flow streams entering a vessel horizontally and hitting a series of perpendicular plates. oil and water phases are metered individually as they exit the unit through separate outflow lines. an orifice meter measures the gas. Mechanical meters measure fluids. The gas.

but with a greater liquid capacity. the upper tube acts as the separator section.  The double type separator is similar to a single tube separator.  . while the lower tube merely functions as a liquid accumulation section.HORIZONTAL DOUBLE TYPE SEPARATOR In the double tube type separator .  The liquid generated in the primary separation section near the inlet is immediately drained out into the lower tube.

ADVANTAGES They have a much greater gas-liquid interface area.  They are also easier and cheaper to install and service. permitting higher gas velocities.  They are cheaper to fabricate and ship than vertical separators.  .

 They occupy a lot of space.  They are much harder to clean.  .DISADVANTAGES Liquid level control is critical for horizontal separators . and therefore not advisable to use where the well produces a lot of sand. and the surge space is rather limited.

A spherical separator can be used for two-phase or threephase separation purposes. their compact size and ease of transportation have made them suitable. A mist extractor is used for the final removal of small liquid droplets in the gas. . Nevertheless. An inlet flow diverter spreads the entering well stream tangentially against the separator wall. The liquid is split into two streams that come together after halfway around the circular vessel wall and then fall into the liquid accumulation section.SPHERICAL SEPARATORS      A ball-shaped vessel used for fluid separation.

 They are very compact .ADVANTAGES Spherical separators are very inexpensive cheaper than either the vertical or the horizontal separators.  . and offer better clean out and bottom drain features than even the vertical type.

 Because of the limited internal space .DISADVANTAGES Liquid level control is critical to the spherical separator performance. it is difficult to use a spherical separator for three phase (gasoil-water )separation.  .  They have very limited surge capacity and liquid settling section.

SEPARATION PRINCIPLES The several different techniques applied for separation processing can be broadly classified into two categories: 1. Impingement  . Mechanical separation 2. Gravity settling 3. the mechanical separation methods that are applied are of three types: 1. Chemical separation  In separators. Centrifugal action 2.

 As the centrifuge rotates at an angular speed ω . the heavier liquid droplets are thrown outward to the centrifuge walls . height h. and inner shaft radius R1. with a uniform diameter dp.  The residence time t for the fluid in the centrifuge is given by: t= centrifuge volume/volumetric flow rate of fluid = ∏ (R22-R12)h / q In the analysis it is assumed for simplicity that the liquid droplets are spherical.CENTRIFUGE SEPARATION Consider a centrifuge of radius R2.  .  Feed enters at a volumetric rate q.

. The area A projected by a droplet is therefore equal to (∏/4)dp2.