December 2008

Test separator evaluates exploration wells

Vol. 229 No. 12   RIGFLOOR EQUIPMENT Test separator evaluates exploration wells The CleanPhase SEPL well test separator is a new generation

The CleanPhase SEPL well test separator is a new generation of horizontal separator that can operate as a stand-alone unit or in a combination in onshore or offshore operations, Fig. 1. The combination configuration includes the PhaseTester and Vx multiphase well testing technologies. With this setup, high-quality three-phase flow measurements are unaffected by foaming oil (carry over), emulsions and gas carry under (gas in the oil line).

Fig. 1

Fig. 1. The CleanPhase SEPL separator features an adjustable weir controlled by radar.

The Schlumberger separator uses SmartWeir technology, which features an adjustable weir controlled by radar (time domain reflectometry) that monitors fluid levels and accommodates for flow variability. The weir allows fluctuating water flowrates and high watercuts, enabling the separator to be online during the cleanup phase. The liquid level is adjustable from 40 to 65%, and the oil-layer thickness is adjustable from 0 to 65% of the vessel ID.

The separator can handle limited solids with its solids-capture compartment, so it eliminates flow through a low-pressure surge tank or gauge tank during cleanup, reducing HSE hazards. Faster cleanup operations are possible because the effluents can still be processed when the well is cleaned up on large chokes.

Environmental risks are reduced because there is no disposal of unseparated fluids during cleanup. Optimized liquid-liquid separation results in less water in the oil line and less oil in the water line.

The equipment can be fitted with optional single-phase flowmetering at the separator outlets, using Coriolis meters for all three phases or Coriolis meters for oil and gas and an electromagnetic meter for water.

The new system improves safety by flowing the initially cleaned fluid into a separator instead of a low-pressure tank, while providing continuous, accurate flowrate data. It reduces risks by minimizing manual intervention and reduces cleanup time by allowing higher flowrates and monitoring cumulative volumes of produced fluids.

The separator allows faster cleanups by flowing the well into a higher-pressure vessel than is possible with conventional setups, which require a well to be offloaded to a low-pressure surge tank. Because of the separator’s real-time capabilities, information can be quickly delivered, which removes operational uncertainty and allows accurate decisions, reducing costs.

The separator has been used in North Africa to test 22 wells that produced all three phases. The CleanPhase SEPL separator is available in two versions, SEPL-A or a wider temperature-range version, SEPL-B. All separators are manufactured under appropriate Type Approval and are provided with a Certificate of Conformity and a full quality file. Request more information from Schlumberger at WO 


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