This reference is for an abstract only. A full paper was not submitted for this conference.


Many papers and conferences regarding produced water focus on oil detection, redemption and water chemistry. These discussions typically cover methods of reporting when and why too much oil was discharged from the facility. Many facilities used to reduce oil content in the produced water list their separation efficiency at 96–97%. Very little discussion in these papers and conferences covers the upstream processes which feed the final separators. As many fields and facilities age production rate, oil density and oil/water concentration will change from what the facilities were originally designed for. Often these changes will cause the production separators to perform below their initial design specifications.

Since the final devices in the facility list an efficiency less than 100%,the performance of the initial production separators is just as important as the final vessel. If the initial separation is not performing properly everything down stream from there will not be able to produce expected results. This paper will discuss methods of improving the separators performance by controlling the oil/water interface, optimizing emulsion thickness and vessel modifications. By controlling the interface within the vessels the system will perform better than when the discharge water is monitored for oil content. Once the discharge water has too much oil present the separator, being upstream, cannot have any impact on the down stream water quality.

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