With CETCO's help, oil & water don't mix - separating oil & water from gas


Courtesy of CETCO Energy Services

One of the USA’s largest providers of midstream natural gas owns and operates 11,300 miles of pipelines, with natural gas gathering systems that cover 14,400 square miles and supply 22 natural gas plants, which have a total processing capacity of 10,250 MMcf/d. This gas transmission company’s onshore and straddle plant assets access natural gas supplies from the Permian Basin, Fort Worth / Bend Arch Basin, South Louisiana Basin and deepwater / deep shelf Gulf of Mexico.

The company’s gas plant in Lake Arthur, Louisiana, collects gas from a number of offshore facilities.

The flows into the plant are not necessarily single phase. They vary in composition, with oil, water and sometimes production fluids, being mixed with the gas. For allocation purposes, it is necessary to separate the oil, water and other contaminants from the gas prior to processing. Contamination has been a particular issue following offshore hurricane damage in recent years.

CETCO Oilfield Services was referred to this company as being able to provide an effective separation service that would extract the oil from the gas, flow it into another pipeline, and remove the water for offshore disposal.

CETCO Oilfield Services’ solution was to feature a 54 inch, 400 M cubic feet capacity pipeline high pressure separator, which was run at 140 M cubic feet, 1100-1400 bbl per day. Liquids were flowed from a high pressure separator to a medium pressure separator, to generate separate oil, gas and water flows.

The 18 month project was a real success, with CETCO Oilfield Services equipment performing as designed and without downtime, despite problems with feed flows from some platforms sending bad fluids (from hydrotests and compressor oils) into the pipeline system.

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