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Wellhead Screen-Filter – Fluid Flow Patterns and Particle Travel (B-FSM-103)

Fluid Flow Pattern

  • Multiphase fluid enters the inlet nozzle on the top-size of the wellhead screen-filter unit
  • The fluids flow down the center of the cylindrical screen and through the apertures (inside to out flow pattern)
  • The solids are retained within the screen while the solids-free fluids flow up the annulus between the screen OD and vessel ID
  • The multiphase fluids exit the vessel through the outlet nozzle
  • No gas-liquid segregation takes place within the separation flow
  • Internal (inlet) pressure provides the energy to drive fluid through the screen apertures

Particle Travel

  • Inlet flow contains the full spread of particle distribution
  • In the ideal view all particles larger than the aperture are captured within the screen, while particles smaller than the aperture pass through to the annulus
  • In the real view large particles stick at the aperture blocking off the flow path. In addition, the screen wedged wear away allowing larger particles to pass as the process proceeds.
  • The captured solids collect at the bottom of the screen cylinder for batch flushing
  • Back-flushing through the screen can dislodge some of the stuck particles


  1. Rawlins, C.H., “Sand Management Methodologies for Sustained Facilities Operations”, Oil & Gas Facilities, Vol. 2, No. 5, October 2013, pp. 27-34. https://doi.org/10.2118/1013-0027-OGF

Next week I will cover fluid flow patterns and particle travel of the WSF.

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