eProcess Technologies

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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  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.

Comments are closed.


Copyright © 2024 eProcess Technologies.