Crude Oil Centrifuge
Table of Contents
What is a Crude Oil Centrifuge?
Crude oil centrifuges are mechanical separator machines used in oilfields. They perform a variety of functions in crude oil production. From drilling mud recovery to crude oil washing, centrifuges are a versatile tool in the crude industry.
Crude oil sludge is the primary contaminant in all types of oilfield streams. It needs to removed to protect downstream equipment such as pumps, separators, wellheads, etc.
A crude oil decanter centrifuge is the first line of defense these heavy, abrasive solids. Crude oil decanters efficiently remove sludge and produce sludge-free oil. De-sludged crude oil is much easier to handle and treat for recovery of sale-oil.
In general, crude oil centrifuges are subject to wear and tear. Therefore, crude oil centrifuges need to have robust construction and wear protection.
Dolphin Centrifuge has considerable experience in all applications using centrifuges for crude oil. Following is a summary of crude oil applications for which we have supplied centrifuges.
Crude Oil Centrifuge Applications
Drilling Mud Recovery
Solids control centrifuges are also known as drilling mud centrifuges or decanters. Oil well drilling requires lubrication for efficient drilling. This lubricant is a mix of water and barite, which is a mineral.
Barite allows the drilling lubricant to work under high pressure in deep wells. The drilling mud carries crushed rocks when it flows back to the surface. Centrifuges separate drill fluids from the crushed solids as the drilling mud comes back to the surface.
Drilling mud solids are heavy and abrasive. They need heavy duty gearboxes, wear protection, tiled conveyors, and precision speed control. Wear protection ensures the greatest efficiency and durability.
Dolphin Centrifuge has Alfa Laval solids control decanters for sale. Our drilling mud decanter modules include:
- Transfer pumps.
- Clean fluid tanks and return pumps.
- Sludge transfer conveyor.
- Automated VFD control systems.
Oil Based Drilling Mud Recovery
Oil-based drilling mud (OBM) often uses diesel as the lubricant. The oil enhances the lubricity and better temperature resistance without breaking down.
Recovery of diesel from OBM is desirable due to the cost of oil. The diesel in used OBM carries colloidal solids. Separation of these suspended solids is essential before reuse of the oil.
Decanters do not exert centrifugal force high enough to separate these suspended solids. A high speed, disc stack centrifuge generates enough force to separate these small particles.
Dolphin Centrifuge’s oil cleaning system is suitable for recovering diesel from de-sludged OBM. Our system uses a self-cleaning, disc stack centrifuge to separate the colloidal solids. It can also break emulsified oil depending on the type of emulsion.
Crude Oil Tank Bottoms Recovery
Crude oil extracted from wells carries saltwater and sand or other sediments. Producers use settling tanks to skim sale oil from the top of settling tanks. The residue left in the settling tanks is known as tank bottoms.
Tank bottoms contain Basic Sediment & Water (BS&W). Considerable oil is still left in tank bottoms after skimming of sale oil. This crude oil can is recoverable using our centrifuge system, for extra revenue.
An oilfield centrifuge is a cost-effective solution for tank bottom processing to recover oil. Crude oil centrifuges are also used at SWDs for produced water separation from oil.
Dolphin Centrifuge has been working with owners and operators to recover tank bottom oil. We have engineered robust solutions for efficient, low-cost oil recovery.
Dolphin designed & manufactured Oil Recovery System (ORS) is an ingenious solution for oilfields. Our ORS incorporates the 3-Step process listed below for crude oil de-watering.
- Heating and pre-straining to remove large impurities i.e. rocks, organics, etc.
- De-sludging through a crude oil decanter to remove heavy sludge.
- Polishing the de-sludged oil through a disc stack centrifuge to separate all free water and remaining fine sediment.
Containerized Crude Oil Recovery System
We have integrated a pre-strainer, decanter & crude oil centrifuge into a standard 40′ container. This system includes accessories such as pumps, heaters, sludge augers, buffer tanks, etc.
The design of the container is for ease of deployment and use in remote field locations. These modules have interior lighting, service crane(s), interconnecting pipes, automatic PLC control systems, etc.
Our containerized Oil Recovery System (ORS) is a ‘self-contained’ module. It is designed to process tank bottoms and recover sale oil with less than 0.1% BS&W.
You can see the latest version of our containerized ORS in the following video.
Skid Mounted Crude Oil Recovery System
The ORS is also available in a ‘Skid Mounted’ design. This configuration is suitable for fixed installation in existing facilities. Each of the 3-step components is supplied as an individual skid-mounted system.
The customer has the flexibility to configure the ORS around pre-installed tanks or other assets. Also, the skid-mounted configuration offers lower cost and shorter lead-times.
The following image shows our Skid Mounted Oil Recovery System.
Refinery Slop Oil
Crude oil refinery waste streams are also known as refinery slop. This waste stream consists of water, crude oil, and sludge. It often contains varying amounts of emulsions as well.
A refinery slop treatment system includes a crude oil decanter for de-sludging. A high-speed disc stack centrifuge separates the liquid phases in the de-sludged oil. If the emulsion is present, the use of chemicals helps the centrifuge break the oily-water mix.
Therefore, both decanter and disc stack centrifuge is well suited for refinery slop oil treatment.
Crude Oil Water Washing
Heavy metals such as lead, iron, arsenic, nickel, etc. are present in crude oil. Though their presence is in trace levels is not an issue, higher levels of metals can cause a problem for the producer. Oil companies do not want to buy crude oil with heavy metals beyond their specified level.
Certain types of crude oil are washable with water to remove heavy metals by adsorption. Water adsorbs the metals and needs to be separated. A 3-phase disc stack centrifuge separates the wash-water from the crude oil.
Of course, this process creates a stream of water with adsorbed heavy metals. This contaminated water stream needs disposal through proper means.
Contact Dolphin Centrifuge for further information regarding the use of crude oil centrifuges. Let us use our expertise to your benefit!