A cylindrical or spherical vessel used to separate oil, gas and water from the total fluid stream produced by a well. Separators can be either horizontal or vertical.
Separators can be classified into two-phase and three-phase separators (commonly called free-water knockout). The two-phase type deals only with oil and gas, while the three-phase type handles oil, water and gas. Additionally, separators can be categorized according to their operating pressure. Low-pressure units handle pressures of 10 to 180 psi [69 to 1241 kPa]. Medium-pressure separators operate from 230 to 700 psi [1586 to 4826 kPa]. High-pressure units handle pressures of 975 to 1500 psi [6722 to 10,342 kPa].
Horizontal Longitudinal Flow Separator (HLF)
The HLF is the most popular and versatile separator in the industry. Designed with a wide range of internals specific to each application, it is suitable for a full range of gas/oil ratios, pressures, and flow rates. The horizontal design offers the advantage of large gas/liquid and oil/water interfacial areas to speed the separation process.
How It Works
Like all separators, the HLF must perform four distinct functions – inlet momentum control, vapor demisting, liquid retention, and liquid outlet control.
Normally, the inlet is on one end of the horizontal separator, and the gas and liquid outlets are on the opposite end. As fluid enters, bulk separation occurs at the inlet device. The phases separate within the liquid retention section and flow to their respective outlets. Demisting and coalescing devices assist in the phase separation, and vortex breakers prevent the re-entrainment of phases.