Oil and Condensate Removal from Gas Streams

Natural gas is dissolved in oil underground due to the formation pressure. When natural gas and oil are produced, they generally separate simply because of the decrease in pressure. This separator consists of a closed tank where the gravity serves to separate the heavier liquids from lighter gases (EIA 2006). Moreover, specialized equipment such as the Low-Temperature Separator (LTS) is used to separate oil and condensate from natural gas (Natural Gas Org. 2004). When the wells are producing high pressure gas along with light crude oil or condensate, a heat exchanger is used to cool the wet gas, and the cold gas then travels through a high pressure liquid knockout, which serves to remove any liquid into a low temperature separator. The gas flows into the low-temperature separator through a choking mechanism, expanding in volume as it enters the separator. This rapid expansion of the gas lowers the temperature in the separator. After the liquid is removed, the dry gas is sent back through the heat exchanger, followed by warming it by the incoming wet gas. By changing the pressure at different sections of the separator, the temperature varies, causing the oil and water to condense out of the wet gas stream. The gas stream enters the processing plant at high pressure (600 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) or greater) through an inlet slug catcher where free water is removed from the gas, after which it is directed to a condensate separator (EIA 2006).

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Responses

  • Bernard
    What is oil and condensate removal?
    2 years ago

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