Video: Modeling of a Full-Scale Horizontal Liquid-Liquid Separator under Conditions of Varying Flow Rate, Water Cut, and Viscosity with Experimental Validation
- A. B. McCleney (Southwest Research Institute®) | R. A. Owston (Southwest Research Institute®) | S. T. Green (Southwest Research Institute®) | F. Viana (Southwest Research Institute®) | S. M. Nelson (Southwest Research Institute®)
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- Offshore Technology Conference
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- 2017. Copyright is retained by the author. This presentation is distributed with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this video.
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 2.1.3 Completion Equipment, 4 Facilities Design, Construction and Operation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 2 Well completion, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.1 Processing Systems and Design, 2.2 Installation and Completion Operations, 5.3 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5 Reservoir Desciption and Dynamics
- Liquid-Liquid Separators, Computational Modeling, Gravity Separation, Validation
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Computational simulation of a full-scale, horizontal liquid-liquid gravity separator has been undertaken by Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) to model the batch separation of oil and water flow. Separator modeling using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) represents a powerful and economical option for design, but caution must be used in the setup and interpretation of data. Many examples are available in literature of poor agreement between simulation results and experimental/field data. No clear consensus on valid modeling methodology currently exists. Results require interpretation before taking them at face value due to the complexity of the various submodels that can be utilized. This work offers an evaluation of multiphase flow modeling techniques, and provides a unique comparison with experimental data that covers a broad range of flow rates, water cuts, and viscosities.
The performance of a horizontal gravity separator with perforated baffles has been investigated using CFD. The simulations have been carried out using an Eulerian-Eulerian multiphase approach. These simulations were conducted using constant dispersed water droplet sizes in an oil-continuous phase. Separation efficiencies and water-cut percentages at several locations throughout the test separator were compared against experimental results for a wide range of inlet flow rates, water cuts, and oil viscosities. Computational results indicated that the horizontal liquid-liquid separator can be modeled within 10% accuracy of the local experimental separation efficiency values for the various test conditions. This effort demonstrates the capability of reliable modeling of multiphase flow fields inside of horizontal gravity separators, and offers an economical option for aiding in the design of separation equipment.