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Multiphase Desander – Cyclonic Vs. Desanding Technology (B-FSM080)

15K Sand Filter and Wellhead Desander

(Note: Much of this information is a retelling of that presented in previous post B-FSM-034)

The Five-Steps of sand management are covered in Module 3 of the Facilities Sand Management (FSM) training.

The Five-Steps of Sand Management

The core of solids handling for the upstream oil & gas industry – whether onshore or offshore – is to follow the Five-Steps of Sand Management. Most approaches for sand management focus on finding a piece of equipment to separate the sand – and assume the work is done. That is only Step 1. It is critical to follow all the steps.

The Multiphase Desander is used in Step 1 – separation of solids from the flow stream.

  1. Separate: Partition the solid particles from the liquid, gas, or multiphase stream
  • Multiphase desander, filters, or existing three-phase separator
  1. Collect: Gather partitioned solids into one central location and remove from process pressure
  • Desander accumulator vessel or vessel drains
  1. Clean: Removal of adsorbed hydrocarbon contaminants
  • Recycle sand-wash systems
  1. Dewater: Removal of free water to minimize disposal volume
  • Hanging mesh bags or screen lined bins
  • Reduce the disposal volume by 90% and produce sand “cake” of <10 wt.% water
  1. Transport: Bring solids to disposal location
  • Dependent upon the facilities location (onshore/offshore) and disposal requirements
  • Options: Overboard discharge, landfill, ship-to-shore, slurry injection, etc.

The next article covers the two types of Multiphase Desanders – Wellhead and Wellstream.


  1. Rawlins, C.H., “Sand Management Methodologies for Sustained Facilities Operations,” paper 164645-MS, North Africa Technical Conference & Exhibition, Cairo, Egypt, Apr. 15-17, 2013.
  2. Rawlins, C.H., and Wang, I. I., “Design and Installation of a Sand Separation and Handling System for a Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Facility,” SPE Production and Facilities, paper 72999, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2001, pp. 134-140.


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