The objectives of this work are:

  1. to present a new methodology for determimng the number of stages and their optimal pressures,

  2. to illustrate the utility of this methodology by apply it to typical field conditions, and

  3. to present the features of a computer program named "OPTI PRE", developed to design and analyze the best conditions for oil-gas separation.

Factors influencing separation include tubing pressure (flowing) and the relative amounts of crude oil and natural gas in the hydrocarbons mixture. The change in pressure gives rise to changes in actual flowing volume, in allowable velocity, and in gas and liquid densities.

We present a new methodology to select the optimal pressure of the separation stages of the fluids in surface, which is developed based on an economic analysis. The common criteria used in the field are "Maximum Recovery of Fluids" and "Minimum Requirements of Compression". The technique proposed in this work allow to take better decisions of design, and increases the revenue of the process, we therefore termed it "Maximum Revenues"

This paper also includes the presentation of a computer program developed in Windows environment, named OPTI PRE, to simulate and evaluate the separation process with the three mentioned techniques. We have two different ways to predict the behavior of fluids, Peng-Robinson equation of state and Standing correlation.

The program was developed using numerical techniques, based in Spline methods and quadratic interpolation, instead of the common graphical methods used in the field.

Computerized analysis using automated techniques can provide better estimates than those obtained with the standard graphical analysis.

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