Case study 103: Oil well and salt water disposal site

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Courtesy of Eco1st Technology Group

Operational Profile

Type of Operation: OilWell,Salt Water InjectionWell
Location: Texas
Equipment: 10x20water knockout, 6x20 heated vertical separator
b/d: 3800 bbl
Gravity of oil: 41 degrees
BS&W beforestudy: 0.04%
Unit size: 3” Separation Enhancer

Key Findings:

  • 11% production increase
  • Line pressure reduction 600psi to 400psi
  • Investment payback period 7 months
  • Eliminated oil carryover

Problem

The site was experiencing carryover of about 65 bbl of oil a month through their water storage tanks. Salt water injection well line pressure was also unacceptably high.

Oil Production Process

The well pumped through a 3' polyethylene flow line about mile into a horizontal 10‘x20' water knockout.

From the water knockout saltwater discharge line, salt water is pushed through a 3' polyethylene line via well pressure approximately mile to two 500 bbl steel tanks.

From the water knockout oil discharge line, the oil is pushed via well pressure into a 6'x20' heated vertical separator. The oil is then pushed through a 2' line via well pressure into two 500 bbl steel tanks. Remaining water in the 6'x20‘ vertical separator is then pushed via well pressure into the same 3' polyethylene line, discharging from the 10’x20’ horizontal separator into the 500 bbl water tanks. Salt water from 500 bbl water tanks is then pumped through a triplex plunger-style pump into a saltwater injection well.

Solution

A 3” Separation Enhancer was installed on the inlet side of the 10’x20’ horizontal water knockout.

Results

The production of this site was measured and tested for 75 days after the installation of the Separation Enhancer. Key results include:

  • 11% increase in production
  • Retention time was decreased
  • Eliminated oil carryover in water and need for second-pass separation
  • BS&W in oil was at 0.04% and dropped to 0.01%
  • Line pressure to the disposal well went from 600psi down to 400psi
  • Investment payback period 7 months

After the installation of the Separation Enhancer the whole operation increased performance and efficiency to optimal levels never seen before at this plant.

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