The Gullfaks field, located in the North Sea, is operated by Statoil. To increase capacity, prolong production and free up valuable platform space, the large gravity separators can beneficially be replaced by compact technology. For Gullfacs C, an InLine DeWaterer stage and two InLine PhaseSplitters are being tested and developed for possible installation.
Several fields on the Norwegian continental shelf are in the late life phase with an increasing production of water and gas, often in combination with reduction in production pressure. The available area and weight for installation of new equipment on the platforms is often limited, and it is important to minimize both the operational and capital costs. Gullfaks C requires both compact gas-liquid as well as compact oil-water separation. Statoil has chosen to test and develop relevant units in close cooperation with vendors of compact separation equipment. All the tested technologies are based on cyclonic separation devices with low or moderate pressure drops. One of the compact separators is the InLine DeWaterer.
The InLine DeWaterer removes a large quantity of the water from the process stream resulting in increased capacity in the downstream separator. InLine PhaseSplitters removes bulk gas. The technology will also make it easier to use the existing infrastructure at Gullfaks for tie-in of new fields.
Statoil is carrying out an extensive qualification program where selected compact solutions for several unit operations are developed and tested at real operating conditions. In December 2010 a successful offshore test was carried out at the Gullfaks C field. The water treatment package can even be reduced in size as a consequence of the good performance of the InLine DeWaterer.