Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
Design and Develop Integrated Compact Multi-Phase Separator System
The project is to advance the state of the art in separation technology to improve
the economics and ultimate recovery of oil and natural gas. These compact separation
systems also will improve safety in offshore operations. The goal is to make
compact separators and compact separation systems predictable, reliable, and
a viable economic alternative to conventional separation technology.
University of Tulsa
The integrated compact multi-phase separator system will ensure simple, compact,
cost-effective and high-efficient separation of clean streams of gas, oil, water
and solids. The CMSS will be adaptable for FPSO and subsea applications and
will provide effective separation of gas, oil and water.
This technology is intended for use by oil and gas production companies and
production equipment manufacturers. The compact separator will reduce operating
cost and provide environmental benefits over existing methods of lifting, separating
and disposal of fluids.
Development of the gas-liquid cylindrical cyclone (GLCC) was completed under
a University of Tulsa contract DE-FG26-97BC15024 between 1997 and 2003. This
contract developed many of the components necessary for the compact multi-phase
The project will work on six primary tasks in the six year budget period.
The Helical Pipe Separator (HPS) is a compact appliance that enhances fluid-liquid
separation prior to the effluent entering the separator. This device will aid
in improving the efficiency of the separator.
- Compact Multiphase Separation Systems (CMSS) component development
- Modeling of CMSS components
- Design and test Wet Gas Scrubber and Solids removal unit (SSU)
- Modify flow loop, CFD simulation
- CMSS flow testing and design modification
- CMSS high pressure testing
- Finalize CMSS design
Severe slugging is a common problem in oil production. Slugging can fully fill
a separator resulting in equipment fouling. The Slug Damper (SD) regulates the
flow of fluid into a separator preventing fouling, while simultaneously not
interfering with the well's oil production. The first successful field implementation
of this critical piece was demonstrated for SMS Inc. in California. Production
from SMS Inc.'s wells routinely slugged and consequently filled the production
separators resulting in incomplete separation. Observations on the first quarters
operation indicate a significant reduction in slugging.
The conceptual design of the Sand Separation Unit (SSU) has been finalized.
The SSU concept consists of solid-liquid hydrocyclone with the solids collecting
in the bottom of the SSU and solid-free liquids passing through. Currently, solids are removed from the SSU manually.
Fluids will enter the 3-phase GLCC unit; solids will be removed at the bottom,
gas will be removed and process through the Wet Gas Scrubber at the top, and
oil bearing fluids will be removed from the bottom for further processing
steps. The second generation CMSS configuration and the new components will
allow cost-effective and highly efficient separation of clean gas, oil, water
and solids, significantly improving on the original 3-phase GLCC design.
Current Status (June 2006)
This project is completed.
Project Start: July 9, 2003
Project End: April 30, 2006
Anticipated DOE Contribution: $685,971
Performer Contribution: $334,919 (33% of total)
NETL - Betty Felber (email@example.com or 918-699-2031)
U. of Tulsa - Ram Mohan (firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-631-2075)
Gomez, L., Mohan, R. and Shoham, O. Swirling Gas-Liquid Two-Phase Flow – Experiment and Modeling, Part I: Swirling Flow Field, presented at the ASME/JSME FED summer meeting, Honolulu, HI, July 6-10, 2003, ASME J. Fluids Eng., V. 126, No. 6, (November 2004), 935-942.
Gomez, L., Mohan, R. and Shoham, O. Swirling Gas-Liquid Two-Phase Flow – Experiment and Modeling, Part II: Turbulent Quantities and Core Stability”, presented at the ASME/JSME FED summer meeting, Honolulu, HI, July 6-10, 2003, ASME J. Fluids Eng., V. 127, No. 6, (November 2004), 943-959.
Second-generation CMSS configuration with new components.