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Step 4: Dewatering Overview (B-FSM-155)

Listed below are some key topics related to slurry dewatering. All will be covered in detail in subsequent posts.

The purpose is to remove free liquids (mainly water) from sand slurry to minimize disposal volume

  • Reduce the disposal volume by 90%
  • Will remove hydrocarbon liquids to aid cleaning

Two classes of system: Open (non-hazardous) or closed (hazardous) dewatering systems

  • Open – liquids returned to open drain, sand/vapors open to atmosphere
  • Closed – liquids and vapors captured, solids not exposed to atmosphere or personnel

Keep the design simple.

  • Usually operated in batch mode – make it easy to start/stop
  • Keep personnel involvement at minimum
  • Do not allow solids separation/removal from the facility to hold-up production


  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
  3. Rawlins, C.H. “What to do with Produced Solids after Separation: Dewatering, Transport, and Disposal.”. White Paper Publication, eProcess Technologies. Link here

Next week I will cover when dewatering is required.

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