A Case History of Heavy-Oil Separation in Northern Alberta: A Singular Challenge of Demulsifier Optimization and Application
- Jonathan J. Wylde (Clariant Oil Services) | Steven E. Coscio (Clariant Oil Services) | Victor Barbu (Clariant Oil Services)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- February 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 19 - 24
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3 Flow Assurance, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.3 Dehydration, 4.3.3 Aspaltenes, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 871 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 5.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
This case history tracks the continual improvement cycle for the fluid-separation process of a heavy-oil/oil-sands production facility in northern Alberta over a period of 3 years. The major challenge posed by the operator of this 13 to 16°API crude oil was to move away from injection of two separate demulsifier formulations to injection of a single product. This was not an easy task because of the very different conditions that existed at the two injection locations. The first location was at a series of injection points upstream of the gathering stations before separation where temperatures could reach subzero conditions, and the second was at the battery receiving facility where heating increased temperatures to 100°C. Water cut and shear were also very different, and the operator required a very strict 0.2% basic sediments and water (BS&W) on the crude exiting any of the four treater tanks. To complicate issues further, crude-oil viscosity ranged from 500 to 5,000 cp.
A unique bottle testing method was developed and used to simulate the field conditions as accurately as possible. Details are given on the chemistry of the individual components of the demulsifier determined to be so crucial to adequate performance and how this was optimized in the field after being identified from the bottle tests.
Results show how careful consideration was given to the concentration of the demulsifier bases in the blends, and show the curious observation that dilution of the final product made a big difference to the final performance in the field. Elaboration is given on potential mechanisms explaining the dilution effect, and this paper will conclude with observations on how careful design of field testing followed by field implementation can indeed solve complex separation issues and address individual-well, battery, and field requirements.
|File Size||360 KB||Number of Pages||6|
Al-Bastaki, N., Abbas, A., and Zubari, H. 2003. Improving the Production of HeavyEmulsion Crudes in the Bahrain Field: Experimental and FieldInvestigations. Paper SPE 81450 presented at the Middle East Oil Show,Bahrain, 9-12 June. doi: 10.2118/81450-MS.
Baydak, E.N., Yarranton, H.W., Ortiz, D.P., and Moran, K. 2008. Effect ofDemulsifiers on Interfacial Films and Stability of Water-in-Oil EmulsionsStabilized by Asphaltenes. 9th International Conference on Petroleum PhaseBehavior and Fouling, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 15-19 June.
Bhardwaj, A. and Hartland, S. 1993. Study of Demulsification ofWater-in-Crude Oil Emulsions. Journal of Dispersion Science andTechnology 14 (5): 541-557. doi:10.1080/01932699308943426.
Bowman, R.W., Burton, W.D., and Pryor, J.A. 1977. Statistically Designed Oil DehydrationTests. Paper SPE 6529 presented at the SPE California Regional Meeting,Bakersfield, California, USA, 13-15 April. doi: 10.2118/6529-MS.
Eley, D.D., Hey, M.J., and Symonds, J.D. 1988. Emulsions of water inasphaltene containing oils 1. Droplet size distribution and emulsificationrates. Colloids and Surfaces 32: 87-103.doi:10.1016/0166-6622(88)80006-4.
Fjeldly, T.A, Hansen, E.B., and Nilsen, P.J. 2008. Novel Coalescer Technology inFirst-Stage Separator Enables Single-Stage Separation and Heavy-OilSeparation. SPE Proj Fac & Const 3 (2): 1-5.SPE-118891-PA. doi: 10.2118/118891-PA.
Kilpatrick, P.K. and Spiecker, P.M. 2001. Asphaltene Emulsions. InEncyclopedic Handbook of Emulsion Technology, ed. J. Sjoblom, Chap. 30,707. New York: Marcel Dekker.
Kokal, S. 2005. Crude OilEmulsions: A State-Of-The-Art Review. SPE Prod & Fac 20 (1): 5-13. SPE-77497-PA. doi: 10.2118/77497-PA.
Kokal, S. and Al-Ghamdi, A. 2006. Oil/Water Separation Experience Froma Large Oil Field. SPE Prod & Oper 21 (3): 365-371.SPE-93386-PA. doi: 10.2118/93386-PA.
Kokal, S. and Al-Ghamdi, A. 2008. Performance Appraisals of Gas OilSeparation Plants. SPE Prod & Oper 23 (2): 287-296.SPE-102854-PA. doi: 10.2118/102854-PA.
Kokal, S.L. 2006. Crude Oil Emulsions. In Petroleum Engineering Handbook,Vol. 1--General Engineering, ed. J.R. Fanchi. Richardson, Texas: Society ofPetroleum Engineers.
Kumar, K., Nikolov, A.D., and Wasan, D.T. 2002. Effect of Film Curvature onDrainage of Thin Liquid Films. J. Colloid Int. Sci. 256(1): 194-200. doi:10.1006/jcis.2001.8096.
Levine, S. and Sandford, E. 1985. Stabilisation of emulsiondroplets by fine powders. The Canadian Journal of ChemicalEngineering 63 (2): 258-268. doi:10.1002/cjce.5450630211.
Nour, A.H., Yunus, R.M., and Anwaruddin, H. 2007. Water-in-Crude OilEmulsions: Its Stabilization and Demulsification. Journal of AppliedSciences 7 (22): 3512-3517.
Poindexter, M.K., Chuai, S., Marble, R.A., and Marsh, S.C. 2006. The Key to Predicting EmulsionStability: Solid Content. SPE Prod & Oper 21 (3):357-364. SPE-93008-PA. doi: 10.2118/93008-PA.
Salager, J.L. 1990. The fundamental basis for the action of a chemicaldehydrant: Influence of physical and chemical formulation on the stability ofan emulsion. International Chemical Engineering 30 (1):103-116.
Schramm, L. ed. 1992. Emulsions: Fundamentals and Applications in thePetroleum Industry, No. 231. Washington, DC: Advances in Chemistry Series,ACS.
Schubert, H. and Armbroster, H. 1992. Principles of Formation and Stabilityof Emulsions. International Chemical Engineering 32 (1):14-28.
Spiecker, P.M. and Kilpatrick, P.K. 2004. Interfacial Rheology of PetroleumAsphaltenes at the Oil-Water Interface. Langmuir 20(10): 4022-4032. doi:10.1021/la0356351.
Strassner, J.E. 1968. Effect ofpH on Interfacial Films and Stability of Crude Oil-Water Emulsions. J.Pet Tech 20 (3): 303-312; Trans., AIME, 243.SPE-1939-PA. doi: 10.2118/1939-PA.
Tang, Y. and Wong, S. 2005. AFlow Assurance Study for a Satellite Crude-Oil System With Severe Emulsion.Paper SPE 96836 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference andExhibition, Dallas, 9-12 October. doi: 10.2118/96836-MS.
Verutto, V.J. and Kilpatrick, P.K. 2008. Water-in-Model Oil Emulsions Studiedby Small-Angle Neutron Scattering: Interfacial Film Thickness andComposition. Langmuir 24 (22): 12807-12822.doi:10.1021/la802095m.
Xia, L., Lu, S., and Cao, G. 2003. Stability anddemulsification of emulsions stabilized by asphaltenes or resins. J.Colloid. Int. Sci. 271 (2): 504-506.doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2003.11.027.
Yarranton, H.W., Hussein, H., and Masliyah, J.H. 2000. Water-in-Hydrocarbon EmulsionsStabilized by Asphaltenes at Low Concentrations. Journal of Colloid andInterface Science 228 (1): 52-63.doi:10.1006/jcis.2000.6938.
Zaki, N., Schoriing, P.C., and Rahimian, I. 2000. Effect of Asphaltene andResins on the Stability of Water-in-Waxy Oil Emulsions. PetroleumScience and Technology 18 (7-8): 945-963.doi:10.1080/10916460008949884.