Buying a used separator?
Surplus Energy Equipment (SEE) wants the people that view its equipment to be educated on what to look out for when purchasing used oilfield equipment. The purpose of this blog to review some highlights and key characteristics of this used production equipment.
Here, we will discuss separators, horizontal or vertical in a two or three phase.
What is a separator? A separator is a device for the bulk removal of liquids or solids by gravity or other means.
Separators can be called many things such as sand scrubbers, sand separators, liquid knockouts, etc., but they all have four main areas of that qualify it as a separator.
- Primary Separation – The inlet deflector forces the liquid to change direction toward the vessel shell where it spreads out in a thin film, allowing solution gas to break out. You can review this plate through an inspection camera.
- Secondary Separation – In this section the velocity of the gas and liquid is reduced because it enters a larger space. This allows the liquid particles to begin falling toward the liquid accumulation section as a result of gravity. This can be tested through washout and then a Hydrotest QC.
- Liquid Accumulation – All separators must provide an area where the liquid can be collected. The liquid retention time is normally one minute for two phase (i.e., liquid-gas) separation. This allows time for any gas to break out of the accumulated liquid and a measurable level. Ensure that port threads have not deteriorated.
- Mist Extractors – These devices are on the outlet for the removal of any mist that is carried out with the gas. They are designed to force the gas through a torturous path to encourage the mist to accumulate onto the device and drip back into the liquid section. The three types of mist extractors most commonly used in oil and gas separators are knitted wire mesh, vane, and centrifugal. Inspect the mist extractor with an inspection camera and ensure when conducting flow through the vessel there is not a high pressure differential which indicates blockage on the screen.
After determining the correct size of your used separator that you need you will need to pay attention to the four areas to determine integrity of the equipment. Look at the mating flanges to determine if each have enough meat on them and can be resurfaced to an appropriate tolerance, if applicable. If there is a huge area of erosion you can conduct an UT test to determine tolerance level against the U1A.
If you would like to purchase a surplus or used separator off the website but would like to have it reconditioned or tested, that service can be conducted as well through our service partner, Croft Production Systems.
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