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Sand Cleaning – Cyclonic Cleaning System Overview (post B-FSM-141)

The cyclonic cleaning system consists of a skid package designed around three process loops;

  • Slurry Receiving & Dewatering
  • Sand Cleaning
  • Cleaned Slurry Disposal

Each of these loops will be detailed in subsequent posts – and are introduced below.

Slurry Receiving & Dewatering Loop (Green Loop)

This loop receives the oily sand. Sources can be from a multiphase or produced water desander (accumulator), jetting system, drains/blowdown, or any other oily sand source. The slurry is received and the bulk associated water is removed and return to drains or collection. Initial cleaning of free oil takes place in this loop. The dewatered sand reports to the accumulator vessel.

Sand Cleaning Loop (Red Loop)

The accumulated dewatered sand is recirculated in a closed-loop via jetting device, pump or eductor, cleaning cyclone, and back into the accumulator. Slurry is pumped around this loop until the sand is cleaned.

Cleaned Slurry Disposal Loop (Blue Loop)

The cleaned sand is removed from the accumulator via the jetting device and eductor/pump. This sand reports directly to overboard discharge – often via a caisson – or to a dewatering/bagging station for transport to shore.


  1. Rawlins, C.H. and Wang, I. 2001. “Design and Installation of a Sand-Separation and -Handling System for a Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Facility”. SPE Production and Facilities, August, pp. 134-140. https://doi.org/10.2118/72999-PA
  2. Rawlins, C.H. 2019. “Enhanced Production Through Surface Facilities Sand Management.” SPE Distinguished Lecturer presentation. Link here

Next week I will continue discussion on cyclonic sand cleaning system component selection.

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