Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
Control System for Oil Field Centrifuge (aka Fuzzy Logic)
This project was funded through DOE's Natural Gas and Oil Technology Partnership
Program. The program establishes alliances that combine the resources and experience
of the Nation's petroleum industry with the capabilities of the National Laboratories
to expedite research, development, and demonstration of advanced technologies
for improved natural gas and oil recovery.
The project goal is to create an expert set-up and control system for a novel
three-phase decanter centrifuge process.
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Los Alamos, NM
The project performers developed and implemented a feed-forward control system
to predict disturbances in feed conditions and alter operating parameters to
accommodate these expected disturbances. This includes a soft sensor to infer
feed composition from other sensor measurements. Researchers also enhanced the
existing fuzzy logic feedback control system to make it more robust for operating
conditions. They developed an expert set-up consultant computer program that
provides guidelines for initial centrifuge operating parameters that will yield
a required product quality.
The fuzzy advisor and control system will help make this technology affordable
and available to many operators. The expanded use of this technology has the
benefit to the industry and Nation of reducing oil industry wastes (and its
associated liabilities) and of recovering salable oil in the process.
A novel tank bottoms and sludge-treatment process, based on a one-of-a-kind
three-phase decanter centrifuge, has demonstrated astounding success in treating
tank bottoms and various petroleum sludges. The process separates wastes into
three product streams: pipeline-quality oil, clean water, and clean, landfillable
solids. The operation provides nearly total recovery of the emulsified oil found
in the sludge and a complete clean-up of the waste, with no further treatment
needed. Unlike other treatment processes, clean-up is often achieved without
separation-enhancing chemicals. Revenue from recovered oil discounts the cost
of the clean-up, so the venture often breaks even. The economics are more favorable
still if the costs of waste liability are taken into account.
Project researchers have:
- Developed and implemented a feed-forward control system.
- Developed a soft sensor to infer feed composition from other sensor measurements.
- Enhanced the existing fuzzy logic feedback control system.
- Developed an expert set-up consultant computer program.
Current Status (August 2005)
The project is ongoing.
Miller, Neal J., Parkinson, William Jerry, and Smith, Ronald E., System and
process for separating multi-phase mixtures using three-phase centrifuge and
fuzzy logic, U.S. Patent 6,860,845, issued March 1, 2005.
Parkinson, W.J., Smith, R.E., Mortensen, F.N., Wantuck, P.J., Jamshidi, M.,
Ross, T., Miller, N., Fuzzy SPC Filter for a Feed-Forward Control System for
a Three-Phase Oil Field Centrifuge, Intelligent Automation and Soft Computing,
Vol. 11, No. 1, 2005, pp. 5-20, 2005.
Project Start: June 15, 1999
Project End: December 31, 2005
Anticipated DOE Contribution: $950,000
Performer Contribution: $250,000 (21% of total)
NETL - John Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-699-2061)
LANL - Ronald Smith (email@example.com or 505-667-7002)
LANL - William Parkinson (firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-667-7021)
Decanter centrifuge separates tank bottoms sludge into oil, clean water,
and landfill-ready solids.
Three-phase decanter centrifuge treating tank bottoms sludge.