Selection of Stages

As more stages are added to the process there is less and less incremental liquid recovery. The diminishing income for adding a stage must more than offset the cost of the additional separator, piping, controls, space, and compressor complexities. It is clear that for each facility there is an optimum number of stages. In most cases, the optimum number of stages is very difficult to determine as it may be different from well to well and it may change as the wells’ flowing pressure declines with time. Table 2-2 is an approximate guide to the number of stages in separation, excluding the stock tank, which field experience indicates is somewhat near optimum. Table 2-2 is meant as a guide and should not replace flash calculations, engineering studies, and engineering judgment.


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