Salt of the Earth - brine filtration & solids removal


Courtesy of CETCO Energy Services

Salt domes along the Texas and Louisiana coastline make ideal gas and oil storage facilities and they play a major role in the Unites States strategic energy reserves.

A division of a large company involved in the transportation, storage, terminalling and marketing of crude oil, refined products and LPG, was constructing three 8 billion cubic foot gas storage facilities in Louisiana with additional acreage capable of creating an additional eight caverns.

The initial phase of this construction consisted of the three storage caverns and an extensive 75-mile header system, which would connect the facility to seven interstate pipeline systems that serve consumer markets in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast United States.

Before gas can be stored in a salt dome the salt has to first be dissolved.

The process of creating a salt cavern from a salt dome is basically dissolving the salt with water.

Water is injected into the cavern, salt is dissolved, the brine is then pumped out of the cavern, cleaned, and solids removed before being recirculated.

The process used at the new facility initially included tanks, pump filters and a hydrocyclone. However, the company encountered difficulties when the hydrocyclone wasn’t able to remove all of the solids material, which led to solids being reinjected into the cavern and plugging to occur.

CETCO Oilfield Services resolved the situation by installing dual 36 inch (liquid service) FilterSeps. The CETCO equipment was set up to filter the brine at high pressure at a rate of 190,000 barrels per day or 1.5 barrels per second. Solids down to 30-50 microns were being removed by the system, so plugging was no longer an issue.

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