A Method for Determining Optimum Second Stage Pressure in Three Stage Separation
- Kenneth F. Whinery (Phillips Petroleum Co.) | John M. Campbell (U. of Oklahoma)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 1958
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 53 - 54
- 1958. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements
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This investigation was prompted by the absence of a simple, accurate method to predict optimum second stage separation pressure in three stage separation operations. Three stage separation as used here includes two separators plus the stock tank. The first stage pressure is usually fixed by gas sales conditions and the third stage is at atmospheric pressure. Thus, the second stage pressure is the only one that may be varied indiscriminate during production operations. No variations in temperature were considered in this study, even though it will vary among systems, for a change in temperature has little effect on the optimum pressure. Optimum pressures may be determined from flash calculations, but these are tedious unless a computer is available. An early attempt to develop a simpler method yielded an equation which gave the optimum pressure only as a function of initial and final pressure. Experience, however, confirms theoretical relationships which show that composition as well as pressure and temperature must be a factor.
Development of New Correlation
Wellstreams having 17 different analyses, ranging from low gravity crude to condensate, were used to determine the effect of composition. Each wellstream was flashed through three stages to determine the optimum second stage pressure for each first stage pressure. Equilibrium vaporization ratios proposed by Latham and Campbell were used throughout. The heptane plus fraction, for simplicity, was assumed to have the properties of octane.
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