Oil & gas Separators

A separator for petroleum production is a large drum designed to separate production fluids into their constituent components of oil, gas and water. It can be horizontal, vertical or spherical as well as being two-phase or three-phase. It can also be permanent or portable.

Separators work on the principle that the three components have different densities, which allows them to stratify when moving slowly, with gas on top, water on the bottom, and oil in the middle.

Any solids, such as sand, will also settle in the bottom of the separator. Separators used in the oil and gas industry can be divided into two general categories: test separators and production separators. A test separator is a vessel used to separate and meter relatively small quantities of oil and gas. It is sometimes equipped with different meters to determine oil, water and gas rates, necessary to diagnose well problems, evaluate production performance of individual wells, and manage reserves properly. Thus, occasionally, it is referred to as a well tester or a well checker.

A production separator operates on the same basis as a test separator; however, it is much larger in size and its inflow consists of the oil mixture obtained from all the wells.