Profiler Brochure

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Transcript of Profiler Brochure

The TRACERCO ProfilerThe future of separator design and control

Increase oil production, reduce chemical usage and prevent overboard spillsIn what part of the offshore oil production process would greater information yield the biggest benefits? This was the question we asked major oil producing companies.The feedback identified the separation process as the key. Lets face it, the basic function of an offshore installation is simply to separate oil from the produced water and pump the valuable part back to shore. Any advances in this process would be welcome. Lack of accurate measurement of the levels of oil and water - as well as any optimizing output sand, emulsion, foam, naphthenic acids, asphaltenes and scales cutting chemical costs meant that facilities are operated at less than their design capability. eliminating maintenance As a result output was suffering; spend was high on effect chemicals; keeping a clean environmental record. maintenance was intensive; and there was a high risk of discharging oily water to the sea. Their greatest wish was for a way to see precisely what was happening Shell, Exxon Mobil, Kerr McGee, Norsk Hydro, Statoil, ConocoPhillips, inside the separator vessels. We responded with the greatest step Talisman, ADCO, CNOOC, PetroCanada, Syncrude, Total, Woodside, forward in separator measurement and control in 40 years Pemex and Petrobras have all benefited in better cost and The TRACERCO Profiler. environmental performance due to The TRACERCO Profiler. From the North Sea and North America to the South China Seas, from the Far East to West Africa, oil majors including bp, ChevronTexaco, The TRACERCO Profiler measures in real time and high resolution the vertical distribution of all phases within the separator. This information gives operators the confidence to exert optimum control, turning problems into opportunities:

You cannot control what you cannot measure.Lord Kelvin

Trust TRACERCO to bring you the complete solutionOver the course of 40 years Tracerco has become a world leader in radioisotope technology to measure levels, interfaces and flow rates for the petrochemical, chemical, oil and gas industries. Tracerco is now part of Johnson Matthey, the global speciality chemical company. The TRACERCO Profiler supersedes the traditional single point to be carried over with the oil phase and hence cause downstream measurement method used for 40 years - a mechanical displacer knock-on separation problems. Foam carry over through the gas chamber, connected via bridle pipework, external to the separator, outlet can cause rapid build up in downstream flare liquid knock which tries to mimic the interface between oil and water inside. out vessels. Sand accumulation reduces the working volume of the There is a time lag between real events and their representation in vessel and therefore its efficiency. All of these problems can result in the bridle chamber. The temperature in the bridle needs to match unnecessary trips, production and environmental problems. Excessive that of the vessel so heat tracing is required. Sand and wax solids amounts of costly and environmentally unfriendly anti-foam and can build up around the tapping point and inside the bridle chamber, de-emulsifying agents must be added to ensure a safe margin and causing the displacer to stick and give a false reading. Operating and generally the plant does not operate to its design capability. maintaining bridle instruments is labour intensive and they are susceptible to giving false readings especially during regular plant changes such as swapping wells from test and clean-up, and flowing new wells or following scale squeeze operations. In contrast with this, The TRACERCO Profiler not only measures the interface but the extent of phase dispersion, that is, the quality of the interface between any two phases. It brings you the complete solution. Tracerco was proud to gain further recognition when The TRACERCO Profiler was awarded The Queens Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category. In Houston USA, The TRACERCO Profiler was awarded the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Spotlight on New Technology Award in 2004. Conventional instruments are designed to give a single point measurement not a profile. The conventional method cannot register sand, emulsion or foam. Incorrect separation information can cause too high a concentration of oil to be carried through the water outlet, overloading downstream de-oiling equipment and causing oil slicks to be discharged to sea. It can allow too high a concentration of water

How The TRACERCO Profiler worksA version of the Profiler had already proved its accuracy and reliability on-shore in refinery vessels for a combined total of 20 years when the technology was applied to separator measurement and control. The TRACERCO Profiler comprises two or three titanium dip-pipes by each tube is transmitted to a signal-processing unit housed in installed within the separator through a nozzle of 2 or greater. the dome above the dip-pipes. A narrow dip-pipe holds a vertical array of low energy gamma emitters. The other dip-pipe(s) holds a corresponding array of gamma detectors, Geiger Muller tubes. Each GM tube is matched to the gamma emitter on the same plane.Profiler

The emitter directs radiation through the fluid within the separator to be picked up by the detector. Due to oil, water, sand, foam and emulsion all having different densities, they will attenuate the signal passing through them by different amounts. The density registered

Inlet oil/water/gas/sand

Gas out


Water out

Oil out






The information is converted into serial data and sent via fibre optic cable to the plant computer. On the screen the fluid density at each point is depicted in real time. For the first time ever you can see a complete profile of the distribution of fluids within the separator: the interface between water and oil or oil and gas the quality of the separation the extent of foam build up the total liquid position the level of sand build-up

Environmental benefits are a top priority for all responsible operators.

At last you have total controlThe purpose of measurement is to provide an accurate basis for control. Using information from The TRACERCO Profiler, the process engineer can set the interface and the overall liquid level at the optimum points for efficient production. Production facilities can be operated safely and confidently at their design limits. Because the Profiler measures the average density between the emitter and the detector, it is tolerant to build-up on the dip pipe surface. Operational experience has shown that all other interface measurement technologies will fail when subjected to surface build-up. Even with heavy oils and calcium naphthenate precipitation The TRACERCO Profiler has proved its worth with reliable service. As well as saving money, the environmental benefit of reducing the amount of chemical and oil which is eventually discharged to sea via the produced water is a top priority for all responsible operators. The TRACERCO Profiler makes possible the optimum use of effect chemicals. It will not only detect the presence of foam but measure its height; not only identify emulsion but its dispersion. Again for the first time, the operator can see immediately the effect of dosing anti-foam, de-emulsifier or acetic acids and therefore only the minimum amount needed to achieve the desired effect is used.

The TRACERCO Profiler in ActionChevron Texaco KuitoThe Kuito field lies offshore Cabinda Province in Angolas deep-water Block 14. Kuito was Angolas first deep-water oil field to come on stream in December 1999. Oil is produced via an FPSO chartered through SBM and Sonangol on behalf of operator ChevronTexaco. Kuito is a heavy oil ranging from 18 - 22 API. The FPSO has two oil something about it in a proactive manner. Prior to the installation production trains with a throughput of 100,000 bbls. oil per day. of the Profilers, we would often find ourselves in an unstable or trip Horizontal, gravity separation vessels are used to separate oil and condition before we realised there was a problem with the chemicals. gas from produced water and solids. Following production start-up, This is a huge advantage, being able to optimise chemical injection separation problems began to emerge, these were manifested in i.e. not needlessly over-dosing expensive chemicals. There is absolutely numerous process upsets and shutdowns. Kuito oil can form no doubt that we have kept the plant running longer and have emulsions quickly and calcium naphthenate, or Kuito Gunk as it is sustained fewer plant trips since installation of this equipment. referred to on the FPSO, is produced at higher temperatures and if allowed to cool, solidifies. The traditional point instrumentation was unable to detect these emulsion and naphthenate layers resulting in the instrumentation becoming fouled and ceasing to function. The TRACERCO Profilers were retro-fitted to three vessels and operations were then able to identify the different layers within the separators. This enabled oil production uptime to be increased and chemicals, emulsion breakers and de-foamers, to be pro-actively dosed before the plant became unstable. Following the successful installation of 3 units, an additional 2 units were supplied 18 months later.

FeedbackThe TRACERCO Profilers have proved not only to be totally reliable and basically trouble free but also a very important tool for managing the levels within the process. Because the Profilers clearly identify the emulsion phase within the vessels we are quickly alerted to any adverse shift in chemical dosage rates and are then able to do

Figure 1 Vessel mimic. Operator can see different phases.