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Multiphase Desander – Goals & Objectives of Facilities Sand Management Training Module M5 (B-FSM078)

10K Wellhead Desanders for Onshore Operation

We are now ready for Facilities Sand Management training module FSM-M5 on Multiphase Desanding. This technology may also be called a Wellhead Desander – and we will cover that in detail.

For those that may have recently started reading this blog series I will restate some of the background information so that everyone understands the basis of this technology series.

Facilities Sand Management (FSM)

In this series, which started July 28, 2017 with blog post B-FSM-001, I am covering the entire contents of my training course entitled Facilities Sand Management. This is a training course originally designed for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and has been given both at SPE and private-corporate events around the world. This is a 2-3 day course that covers both the design and operating philosophy, as well as unit-operations, for handling sand and solids in oil & gas production at the operating facilities. Some basic assumptions are as follows;

  • Facilities: oil & gas upstream surface/subsea equipment for separation, cleaning, and energy addition (e.g. wellhead to custody transfer)
  • Sand: tiny loose pieces of rock
  • Management: to handle or direct with a degree of skill

FSM is not simply a waste stream treatment exercise…it is a critical Flow Assurance issue.

The stated objective is to increase / maximize hydrocarbons production…while reducing / minimizing operating costs.

Background – Liquid Desander

At a minimum you should read and be familiar with the information in post B-FSM-042 through B-FSM-077. This information covers cyclonic, hydrocyclonic, and liquid-only desander technology. I will build on these terms and you may be confused on the new information if you do not have the background information previously presented.

Multiphase Desanding Learning Goals

The following are the high-level learning goals that will be covered in this next series of approximately 30 articles.

  • The multiphase desander is a unit operation based on cyclonic technology
  • Designed to operate in multiphase (gas + liquid) flow conditions
    • Wellhead: upstream of choke, high-pressure
    • Wellstream: between choke and separator, intermediate pressure
  • Purpose is to separate and remove solids from multiphase flow

The next article will (re) discuss cyclonic, hydrocyclonic, and desander terminology – essentially a recapture of posts B-FSM-043 to B-FSM-045, with addition of the multiphase desander to the cyclone family.


  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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