Effects of Crude Oil Properties on Dehydration Equipment Selection

Enas Abu Obieda Abd El Gadir Hilal, Taj Alasfia Mubarak Barakat


The present study addresses all facets of equipment sizing and an efficient, safe and environmentally acceptable crude oil dehydration operation based on three different equipments. The liquid-liquid separator, heater-treater system and electrostatic coalescer equipments will be considered in this work. Case studies present the effect of crude oil properties and operating conditions on the right decision on equipment selected. The selection is based on mathematical equations that characterize the choices of the separation system through the determination of the required size and efficiency. The results of this study show that the liquid-liquid separator is suitable for dehydration of light crude oil density (less than 850 kg/m3) and low water-cut (water content) (less than 40%) crudes since it gives reasonable efficiency. The heater-treater system is found to be giving high efficiency. Furthermore the study concludes that the electrostatic coalescer is most suitably used for dehydration of crude oil with water cut 20% or less because short circuiting occurs above this limit; In this case the electrostatic coalescer gives the highest efficiency with the lowest size requirements.


crude dehydration; liquid-liquid; heater-treater; electrostatic coalescer.

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