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Oil and Gas Production

2 Phase and 3-Phase Separator

A Separator is an ASME pressure vessel used for separating the oil and gas stream into gaseous and liquid components. Separators are used for onshore processing stations and for offshore platforms. Separators can be built in a horizontal or vertical design and built for 2-Phase or 3-Phase separation.

Separation of hydrocarbon liquids and gasses from water and sediments is a challenging operation. Optimal gas and oil separator performance can only be attained through highly reliable and accurate monitoring of multiple parameters, including temperature, pressure, level, flow, and interface. When distinct interfaces give way to continuous graduation, measurement can become highly complex, reliant upon expert know-how and applied technologies. We combine both for optimal separation performance. 

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Free Water Knockout

A 3-Phase Separator, or Free Water Knockout (FWKO), separates the well fluids into gas and two types of liquids (oil and water). This style of separator is typically called a “free water knockout” because its main purpose is to remove water. If not removed, the water can cause corrosion and the formation of hydrates in the vessel, which are difficult to break apart. The liquids that are discharged from the separator are further treated in vessels called treaters downstream of the separator.


Heater Treaters are used in the Oil and Gas industry to help facilitate crude oil/water separation by speeding up emulsions separation through applying heat. Heater Treaters can be thought of as low pressure, three-phase separators equipped with fire tubes. They separate gas from the incoming emulsion and separate the emulsion into a water phase and an oil phase. Heater treaters can also function as a free-water knockout, a heat exchanger, a filter, and a water wash tank.

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There may be several reasons producers use a vertical over a horizontal treater and visa versa. Some distinct advantages provided by the vertical heater treater include: take up less space, reducing overall equipment footprint of a production site typically more cost effective option than horizontal treaters don’t require as much pressure to operate as horizontal treaters

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