Zakum Development Company (ZADCO) operates the Upper Zakum and Umm Al Dalkh offshore fields. Zakum field is the fourth largest offshore field in the world and is located offshore the Abu Dhabi coast in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Increased water cut in future production profiles, summoned the need for bulk water separation in the production separators. Three options were considered:
- modify existing separators from two-phase to three-phase operation
- maintain the existing separator as two-phase and adding additional separation units for liquid-liquid separation
- replace the existing separators with new, larger three-phase separators
To determine if it would be beneficial to convert the existing separator from two-phase to three-phase, we carried out a study involving Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The study confirmed the feasibility of the conversion and defined the modification required. The modification included a single design for 30 year plant life while taking into consideration the complete production profile for those 30 years. After thorough comparison of the three options Zadco proceeded with the modifications as per option one.
Performance tests have shown that the converted separator performance meets the guarantee capacity figures, oil and water flow rates as well as the design criteria for the full 30 years production profile.
Source: Presentation by Zadco on June 26th 2006 at the confrence Produced Water Management in Oil and Gas in Cairo, Egypt