SCOMI Energy in cooperation with PETRONAS Carigali Miri Crude Oil Terminal (MCOT) implemented a pilot project to demonstrate the effectiveness, technical and economical, of the emulsion treatment technology known as X-O-T for emulsion resolution and crude oil recovery.
A typical emulsion was drawn in batches from Emulsion Storage Tank into Scomi's system. This emulsion was processed on a continuous flow basis through a custom designed system in order to break "resolve" the emulsion and separate its constituents for further disposal or storage of the oil as "dry oil".
X-O-T is a proprietary process utilized to break emulsions of hydrocarbons/water/solids. The process is based on a series of chemical reactions that interact with other reagents releasing heat and neutralizing the non-covalent forces that form the bonds between the substrate and the wetting agents making it feasible to separate the components of an emulsified mixture of minerals, water and hydrocarbons.
A mechanical process for separating the emulsion constituents is needed.
The results of the processing of this emulsion were very promising. All solids contained in the initial emulsion were removed from the mixture; some of small particles in the colloidal size range were transferred directly to the recovered water.
The emulsion was resolved up to 92% to 98% leaving a small tough invert emulsion that contained no solids and a high concentration of heavy hydrocarbons. Recovered solids were "dry" and had hydrocarbon content around 15%. Recovered water was treated using ionic polymer. The result rendered clean water.
This technology can prove to be very economical not only for oil recovery, but also as preventative maintenance. The removal of all solids from this stream can strongly impact the tank farm operations budget by reducing downtime, increasing storage capacity and removing expenses such as tank cleaning and sludge processing.