Hydrocarbon Preparation

The goal is to produce oil that meets the purchaser’s specifications that define the maximum allowable amounts of water, salt, and sulfur. In addition to the maximum allowable value of Reid vapor pressure and maximum allowable pour point temperature.

Similarly, the gas must be processed to meet purchaser’s water vapor maximum allowable content (Water dew point), hydrocarbon dew point specifications to limit condensation during transportation, in addition to the maximum allowable content of CO2, H2S, O2, Total Sulfur, Mercaptan, Mercury, and maximum gross heating value.

The produced water must meet the regulatory requirements for disposal in the ocean if the wells are offshore, or to meet reservoir requirements for injection into an underground reservoir to avoid plugging the reservoir.

The specifications for the above requirements may include maximum oil in water content, total suspended solids to avoid formation plugging, bacteria counts, toxicity in case of offshore disposal, and oxygen content. Before discussing the industry or the technology of oil and gas processing it is best to define the characteristic, physical properties and main chemical composition of oil and gas produced.

Figures 1-1 and 1-2, illustrates gas-oil separation plant, and oil flow diagram.

Separator may be a slug catcher, free water knock out drum, two phase separator, or gun barrel. A dehydrator may be a heater treater, separator, or settling tank. Heat is added upstream or downstream separator depending on crude oil temperature and gas oil ratio. Crude oil stabilization is usually performed in separation step or during heat addition. Crude oil sweetening is usually performed upstream or downstream heater treater. Gas and water are separated and undergoes further treatment processes not in the scope of this book.

Fig.1-2. Crude oil flow Diagram


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