Oil & Gas Separators – Features, Components & Design

An oil and gas separator is a pressure vessel commonly used for separating fluids extracted from a well into liquid and gaseous phases. Separator engineering comprises of vessel selection, design, customization, and other activities. The separator is also known as a knockout vessel, trap, degasser, scrubber, and stage separator. Based on their functions, it can be of many types such as a well test separator, coalescing filter separator, and more. It is usually manufactured as a two-phase or three-phase separator.

Features & Components of a Separator

An oil and gas separator typically includes the following:

  • Primary separation section or device
  • Secondary or gravity settling section
  • A mist extraction device to separate liquid droplets from the gas
  • A gas outlet
  • A liquid separating segment to separate vapour or gas from oil as well as to remove water from oil when required
  • Oil outlet
  • Water outlet in a three-phase unit

Aids Used & Functions of a Separator

Separator FunctionMethod of SeparationSeparation Aids Used
Separating oil from gasGravityMist extractors and filter cartridges
Separating gas from oilGravityPlate packs, cyclones, and matrix pack
Separating oil from waterGravityPlate or trays, cyclones, matrix pack, and heat
Separating water from oilGravityTrays or plates, cyclones, matrix pack, and heat
Separating any solids from liquidsGravityCyclones, heat, and flotation

Design Consideration of a Trap or Separator

The oil and gas separators typically use retention time or settling theory, which states that in the gravity settling section, the liquid particles will settle down at a velocity determined by equating the drag force caused by its motion with the gravity force on its drop. To handle the liquid surges that frequently occur during gas or oil production, the separators must be sized with enough margin.

The vessel has the following components:

  • Inlet Zone
    The initial separation of gases or liquids takes place in bulk quantity in this section. It includes many inlets such as flat impact plates, half-open pipes, cyclone-cluster inlets, and more.
  • Flow Distribution Zone
    It helps the liquid or gas to flow more uniformly after leaving the inlet zone.
  • Coalescing or Gravity Separation Section
    In this portion of the vessel, a mesh pad, or matrix packs are installed in the separator to assist in the separation process.
  • Outlet Zone
    It is the final stage and uses a mist extractor made of mesh and fibre-beds.

Choose Us for Separator Engineering Including Design & Fabrication of Separators

Aspire Energy Resources Inc. is a multi-disciplined organization providing services to the energy industry. We specialize in design, fabrication, and customization of a variety of equipment such as pressure vessels and separators. Our separator engineers have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with accurate solutions when it comes to separators including coalescing filter separators, well test separators, filter separators, and more.

For more information about our products and services, reach out to our team by calling 403-314-5422 or 1-800-993-9958. You could also browse our projects to learn more and fill out our online form to request a quote.

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