Pseudo Dry Gas (PDG) technology is proposed as an alternative concept for transporting multiphase fluids (gas, condensate and water) for long deep-water subsea tieback developments (Ref 1 - OTC-28949-MS) (Ref 2 - IPTC-19440-MS). Using PDG technology, subsea pipeline networks can be extended to excess of 200 km total length and considerably reduce the backpressure on the wells. This allows improved recovery of the reserves and the ability to reach currently stranded fields, especially deep-water lower-pressure gas fields.

The basis of the PDG system is to remove the liquid of the main pipeline system using Piggable Liquid Removal Units. With the removal of the liquid, the gravitational pressure losses in the system are eliminated allowing the pipeline to operate like a "Pseudo" Dry Gas system. The liquid phase is transported back to shore using a second smaller pipeline running in parallel to the main pipeline by means of subsea liquid pumps (Ref 3 - OTC-29332-MS).

After techno-economic reports were completed for a known basin of stranded gas in the West of Shetland, an Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) experimental project was established to determine the operation performance of the element within the PDG technology with lowest Technology Readiness Level (TRL). Currently the liquid removal unit has a TRL2 and a TRL4 will be achieved after the experimental testing programme has been fully completed. This paper assesses the separation performance (Efficiency) of the Piggable Liquid Units or PDG unit. Previous Flow Assurance and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) established expected efficiencies between 84-99% depending on the gas and liquid flow rates and other factors such as unit orientation, liquid type, operating pressure and temperature.

Each PDG unit has two modules which allow for gas-liquid separation of the multiphase fluid in the pipeline. A PDG unit prototype has been built and a testing programme has been developed and undertaken in collaboration with Cranfield University (CU) using the large scale Inclinable Multip hase Flow Loop facilities. The testing programme has two test matrices: Matrix 1 which studies the performance of a single module of the PDG unit and Matrix 2 which investigates the efficienc y of the entire PDG unit (two separation modules). Matrix 1 of the testing programme allows to characterise the system varying the flow conditions (flow regime, liquid and gas flow rates), drop out liquid level and size, effect of sand and the inclination and orientation of the unit as would be expected once installed. This paper focuses on the results obtained from Matrix 1 testing programme and compares them with the initia l PDG unit estimated efficiency values used in previous studies to demonstrate the prove of concept of the PDG technology. The overall conclusion is that the performance of the PDG liquid removal unit is greater than the ones originally used in technology assessment reports.

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