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Sand Cleaning – Oil & Gas Sand Cleaning Defined (B-FSM-137)

Definition: Remove adsorbed oil layer from produced solids using mechanical scrubbing in a compact system primarily for offshore use.

  • Minimal footprint and weight (cyclonic technology)
  • No or minimal chemical use (solvents or surfactants)
  • Minimal energy use (e.g. heat addition)

Uses combination of mechanical forces:

  • Shear: liquid-particle interaction
  • Abrasion: particle-wall interaction
  • Attrition: particle-particle interaction

Oil attachment to sand particle

  • Oil can attach to sand particle in many different ways as illustrated in graphic above


  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 cover oil-on-sand calculations.

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