An Overview of Separators & Separator Engineering

What is a Separator?

Separators refer to the pressure vessel that is used to divide and differentiate the fluids that are produced from gas and oil wells into liquid and gaseous components. They are the closed vessels used to remove liquids from gases. They are installed either in an offshore station or an onshore platform. Depending on the applications, they are also known as oil and gas or filter separators, or well test separators. Separator engineering is the study of these vessels.

Separator EngineeringACoalescing Filter Separators

How are the Separators Classified?

They can be categorized into several groups, depending on their configuration or their function.

  • Test separatorsBased on Configuration
    On the basis of layout and design, oil and gas separators are of the following types:

    • Vertical
      They typically have a diameter of 10 – 12in and seam to seam length of 4 – 5ft, or a diameter of 10 – 12ft and a length of 15 – 25ft seam to seam. They can be used for two-phase or three-phase services.
    • Horizontal
      They are available from 10 – 12in in diameter with a 4 – 5ft seam to seam length, or 60 – 70ft length seam to seam and 15 – 16ft diameter. They are constructed using dual-tube and monotube shells, although monotube is preferred. They also can be used for two-phase and three-phase services. They are generally opted for when the volume of liquid, as well as the amount of dissolved gas, is high.
    • Spherical
      They are compact vessels that are ball-shaped and suitable for areas that are crowded. They can be used for three-phase or two-phase separation. They are often available with 24 – 30in diameters but can also be made with up to 66 – 72in diameters.
  • Based on Separation Function
    On the grounds of their roles and processes they can perform, they can be grouped into the following:

    • Primary Phase
      The fluids exiting from wells initially pass through this separator, and it uses gravity settling.
    • High-Pressure
      They can handle pressures at a wide range of 750 – 1500 pounds per square inch (psi).
    • Low-Pressure
      They operate from 10 to 20 psi, ranging up to 180 to 225 psi.
    • Test Separator
      Used to separate and meter the fluids in a well, it is also known as well test separator. They can help improve the operational efficiency. Depending on the requirements, they can be installed permanently or kept mobile, and are available in vertical, spherical, or horizontal configurations.
    • Deliquilizer
      It is used to remove droplets that have dispersed from bulk gaseous streams.
    • Degasser
      They are used to remove gas bubbles that are contaminated, from the bulk liquid stream.

Choose Us for Separator Engineering, Fabrication & Design

At Aspire Energy Resources Inc., we offer a wide range of design and fabrication services in Western Canada. Our team of in-house engineers and experts will help you with your project involving separators of all kinds including coalescing filter separators, test separators, and more. For further information, get in touch with us by calling 403-314-5422 or 1-800-993-9958. Also, please take a look at our HE Separator Brochure and Flodrip Brochure.

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