(562a) Downhole Oil/Water Separation Based on Hydrocyclones
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 3:15pm to 3:40pm
Although earlier studies in the 1950s demonstrated the utility (and promise) of hydrocyclones as liquid/liquid separators for concentrated and stable dispersions, the risk of forming an emulsion in high Reynolds number flows has limited the practical use of the hydrocyclone as a liquid/liquid separator to relatively dilute dispersions. Over the past 50 years, a few important practical commercial designs for deoiling produced water on offshore platforms have emerged. During the 1990s, high-capacity deoiling hydrocyclones were field tested as downhole oil/water separators (i.e., DOWS-technology); however, due to the risk associated with this technology, this initiative was abandoned.
This presentation will discuss the potential use of very small diameter, low-capacity hydrocyclones for downhole oil/water separation. The proposed approach aims to mitigate problems associated with single-stage, high-capacity hydrocyclones. Clearly, a viable DOWS technology would have a significant impact on oil and gas production worldwide.