eProcess Technologies

Sand Separation & Collection

The first two steps of sand management – Separation & Collection – are often combined to simplify the design process.

The Separation step partitions, or directs, particulate solids contained in a flow stream to one location and fluids (gas, oil, water) to another.

  • Solids are dilute dispersed particles while fluid is continuous
  • Solids must be separable (inorganic, insoluble, discrete, particulate, heavier density)
  • Typically solids go to a static collection location while fluids flow continuously

Solids can be removed in low velocity zones or using enhanced forces:

  • Low velocity: bottom of production separator, dead-leg or end-run of pipe, any still spot in tank, treater, or vessel
  • Enhanced: cyclonic (wellhead desander or produced water desander), flotation, or impact with retention (screens)

Collection, also called accumulation, gathers the separated solids into one central location to isolate from process flow/pressure.

  • Gather: minimize pressure letdown points and simplify handling locations
  • Isolate: remove from process flow for further handling without interrupting production
  • It is important to remove the sand while minimizing amount of process fluids that tag along
  • Jetting systems have large amounts of lost process fluids

Any simple static vessel or chamber that can be isolated, vented, and flushed (batch process) will serve:

  • Desanders (multiphase and liquid) use external (secondary) accumulator vessel with clean water bath to minimize hydrocarbon ingress
  • Water bath aids sand cleaning and prevents slurry plugging

The photos below show both liquid and multiphase desanders with secondary accumulators.


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