OGF Article Can Oversized Separators Do More Harm Than Good?

Stephen Whitfield, Senior

SPE.org 

Can Oversized Separators Do More Harm Than Good? As operators seek to design higher-capacity facilities, separation vessels have grown in size and weight. During early field life, these vessels are expected to handle peak production rates, and in late life the same vessels are also expected to handle large volumes of solids and water. A pair of process engineering experts argued that these expectations have led design engineers and equipment manufacturers to produce increasingly expensive vessels and associated instrumentation without examining the consequences on full life cycle operations. In a presentation held by the SPE Separations Technology Technical Section, Bryan Arciero and Graeme Smith discussed the unforeseen consequences of increased separator size, as well as operating adjustments that can maximize separator performance throughout the life of a field.