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Article from CFX Update Fall 1999

Texaco
oil-watersettling
settling
tanks
Texacostudies
studiesoil-water
tanks
by Lee D. Rhyne, Texaco Upstream Technology, USA

by Lee D. Rhyne,Texaco Upstream Technology, USA

Caltex Minas Gathering Station 2 on the island of Sumatra.

The author inside the outlet spreader box


of Tank 222. The outlet pipe is a 90-degree
elbow which has been trimmed off.

Inside Minas Clarifier Tank 222, showing the vertical inlet


pipe penetrating the floor of the partially-built elevated
inlet spreader box.

CFX Update No 18 Autumn 1999

Texaco is in
the business
of finding
andand
exploiting
andgas
gas
Texaco
is in the business
of finding
exploiting oil
oil and
reserves world-wide.
Unfortunately,
in
many
regions
these
reserves world-wide. Unfortunately, in many regions these
reserves are
of heavy
oil, which
is both
viscous
anddense.
dense.
reserves
are of heavy
oil, which
is both
viscous and
ThisThis
presents major
problems
for
the
oil-water
separation
process,
presents major problems for the oil-water separation process,
which is mainly
done
under
gravity
in large
vessels.
Indeed
which is
mainly
done under
gravity
in large
vessels. Indeed
in in
some of our
operations,
separation
is
so
slow
that
it
is
the
limiting
some of our operations, separation is so slow that it is the limiting
step in production
capacity.
In
one
of
our
largest
Indonesian
fields,
step in production capacity. In one of our largest Indonesian
tanks up tofields,
300tanks
feetup
intodiameter
and
40
feet
tall
are
needed
to
300 feet in diameter and 40 feet tall are needed
compensate
for the slow
separation.
Clearly,
any
to compensate
for the
slow separation.
Clearly,
anyincrease
increase inin
efficiency efficiency
would have
a
major
impact
on
the
capital
costofof
would have a major impact on the capital cost
thethe
tanks, as well
as
on
the
cost
of
the
chemicals
that
are
added
tanks, as well as on the cost of the chemicals that are added to to
enhance coalescence
and separation.
enhance coalescence
and separation.
In conjunction
with
our
Chevron
joint-venture
partners,
In conjunction with
our Chevron
joint-venture
partners,the
the
Caltex Pacific
Indonesia
operation
is
working
to
improve
the sepaCaltex Pacific Indonesia operation is working to improve the
ration processes.
chosen
to simulate
the
separation CFX-4
processes.was
CFX-4
was chosen
to simulate
theflow
flowinside
the vessel primarily because of its multiphase models. Transient
tracer studies, multiphase calculations, and Lagrangian particle

Particle tracking results showing the carry-under of small oil droplets and separation of
the larger ones.

ANSYS, Inc. 1999 - 2007. All rights reserved.


www.ansys.com

CFX - 4 waschosen
because of itsmultiphase
flowsmodels
tracking
associated
statistics
all been
used
inside theand
vessels
primarily because
of itshave
multiphase
models.
toTransient
evaluate
thestudies,
flowsmultiphase
in these calculations,
systems. and Lagrangian
tracer
This tracking
work has
important
intotothe
particle
and provided
associated statistics
have insights
all been used
flow
thatthe
were
not
intuitively
evaluate
flows
in these
systems.obvious. One significant
finding
with increasing
short-circuiting
Thiswas
workthat
has provided
important rate,
insights
into the flow that
ofwere
thenot
flow
aroundobvious.
the circumference
of the was
tankthat
was
intuitively
One significant finding
causing
rapid rate,
non-linear
degradation
in around
performance.
with increasing
short-circuiting
of the flow
the
The
study has
shown
that simple
fixes can often
circumference
of also
the tank
was causing
rapid non-linear
remedy
theinadverse
flowThe
paths
were
identified.
A
degradation
performance.
studythat
has also
shown
that
systematic
study
the component
parts
is that
nowwere
being
simple fixes can
oftenofremedy
the adverse flow
paths
performed
identifystudy
theirofcontributions
residence
identified. Ato
systematic
the component to
parts
is now
time
separation
efficiency.
beingand
performed
to identify
their contributions to residence time
studies
may include radically new tank
andFuture
separation
efficiency.
designs,
themay
hope
of achieving
leapdesigns,
forward
Futurewith
studies
include
radically newa tank
within
this
technology.
the hope
of achieving a leap forward in this technology.
Tracer histories at the tank outlet.

Tank 222.

Isosurfaces of tracer concentration in a transient simulation of a high flow rate


condition. Short-circuiting of the flow around the circumference of the tank is apparent.

ANSYS, Inc. 1999 - 2007. All rights reserved.


www.ansys.com