Application Note

Surface Processing Facilities

Source: Fike Corporation

The primary activity in surface processing facilities is separating the produced fluids into streams of oil, gas and water for sale and disposal. This separation is accomplished largely by gravity segregation, drawing the lighter gas off the top of the separator vessels, the heavier water off the bottom, with only the oil remaining.

The first pressure vessel the fluid will enter at the central facility is the gas separator, typically referred to as "the separator." It removes the free gas from the liquid. Most separators are two-phase, separating the gas phase from the liquid phase, which includes both water and oil. Vertical separators are used for low volume operations, while horizontal separators are typically used in high volume, high GOR "Gas/Oil Ratio" applications. Three phase separators that divide the production into three streams of oil, gas and water are usually used with high gravity oils that readily separate from the water.

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