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Multiphase Desander – Development History (B-FSM082)

Sand and Coal Removed from North Sea Well During Coiled-Tubing Clean-up

The multiphase (wellhead) desander was first developed in the mid-1990’s. As previously stated, it is a cyclonic technology developed from a mining hydrocyclone and industrial desander.

1994

  • January: Concept initiated as internal development project
  • April: Laboratory testing using air-water-sand with 10” mining cyclone
  • September: JIP initiated for pilot-plant testing and mechanical design

1995

  • April: JIP pilot-plant test at (BP) Wytch Farm onshore gathering station. Used a 300# rated 10” diameter desander. Sand was injected into gas-liquid flow stream and separation efficiency quantified. The pilot test also analyzed the performance of five sand monitoring devices.
  • June: Detailed mechanical design for full-size commercial unit – 5K rating with single insert.

1996

  • First commercial unit fabricated (photo below)
  • Operated for coiled-tubing clean-up of well on Shell Brent D in UK North Sea
  • API 5,000# WHD Skid
  • Flow conditions: 6.4-19.2 MMSCFD and 16,000 BLPD
  • Operation: ~75 psig ΔP, D98=20 micron
  • Removed sand and coal from flow stream (photo in header)

The next article covers the general design and operation of the multiphase desander.

References

  1. Rawlins, C.H. 2017. “Separating Solids First – Design and Operation of the Multiphase Desander”, paper 185658-MS presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, Bakersfield, CA, 23-27 April.

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