Operational Control of Hydrocyclones During Variable Produced Water Flow Rates—Frøy Case Study
- Trygve Husveg (U. of Stavanger) | Oddgeir Johansen (Total E&P Norge) | Torleiv Bilstad (U. of Stavanger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- August 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 294 - 300
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 3.2.6 Produced Water Management, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing
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International regulations of produced water discharges to sea are enforced, thereby enhancing focus on optimizing produced water treatment. De-oiling hydrocyclones are prioritized technology for produced water treatment on offshore oil-producing platforms. Oil/water separation happens within a few seconds in hydrocyclones and preciseness in operational control is essential. Surging flow may cause severe problems to hydrocyclones. A case study at TOTAL E&P NORGE AS's Frøy field demonstrated how the implementation of a holistic process control structure effectively optimized hydrocyclone performance by reducing oil in produced water by 50%. This paper emphasizes how operational interaction between separators and hydrocyclones, alternative routing of hydrocyclone oil streams, capable control systems, and establishing hydrocyclone performance indicators are all elements in optimization programs for de-oiling hydrocyclones.
Produced water is water coproduced with oil and gas from hydrocarbon reservoirs. Water production is normally low from new fields. As a field matures, however, more water is produced because of changed reservoir conditions and water being injected into reservoirs for pressure support. Well streams containing 90% water or more are not uncommon from older fields.
As international regulations for disposal of hydrocarbons at sea are enforced, focus on methods and technologies for produced water treatment are intensified. On older installations, produced water treatment might be by means of large-volume plate separators and gas flotation units. On newer installations, and when replacing equipment on older platforms, de-oiling hydrocyclones followed by smaller degassing units are normally installed. Hydrocyclone technology has in the last 20 years emerged as the preferred solution for produced water treatment (Thew 2000). Almost 90% of offshore produced water treatment facilities are based on hydrocyclone technology (Georgie 2002). Hydrocyclones have superior qualitative performance as well as volumetric capacity, easy and reliable operation, low maintenance, and low utility requirements compared to traditional gravity separators (Choi 1999; Stroder and Wolfenberger 1994). Increased capacity and ability to add on capacity make hydrocyclone arrangements favorable when produced water production multiplies in aging fields.
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