The extensive development of the Orinoco Belt has been supported by the concourse of various worldwide companies with different philosophies. Thus, Exxon-Mobil, Conoco, Phillips, Texaco, Totalfina, Veba Oel, Statoil and PDVSA are participating in the Orinoco Belt development and their participation has been determinant in the operation and design criteria for each of the particular project.

To face the challenge of developing this huge field, with more than 1,2 MMM Bls OOIP, of a crude with extreme characteristics such as 7-9°API gravity and dead crude viscosity between 20,000 and 100,000 cst, as well as the foamy oil and topography effects, it has been necessary to implement the following:

  • Conventional Technologies, such as gas separators, electrostatic dehydration and desalter, heater treater, etc.

  • Advanced Technologies, such as multiphase pumping and measurement.

  • New developments jointly with the suppliers, such as high volume capacity Progressive Cavity Pumps (PCP).

This paper summarizes and compares the different technologies and methodologies utilized by various companies currently involved in the Orinoco Belt such as Petrozuata, Sincor, Ameriven and Cerro Negro, for handling, measuring, treating and transporting crude, water and gas which were tailor-made for the Orinoco Belt crude.

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