From Surface Production Operations: Design of Oil Handling Systems and Facilities, Volume One, Third Edition


The liquids that are separated from the gas stream during initial separation may be flowed directly to a tank or may be "stabilized" in some fashion. As was discussed in Chapter 2, these liquids contain a large percentage of methane and ethane, which will flash to gas in the tank. This lowers the partial pressure of all other components in the tank and increases their tendency to flash to vapors. Stabilization is the process of increasing the amount of intermediate (C 3 to C 5) and heavy (C 6+) components in the liquid phase. In an oil field this process is called crude stabilization and in a gas field it is called condensate stabilization.

In almost all cases the molecules have a higher value as liquid than as a gas. Crude oil streams typically contain a low percentage of intermediate components. Thus, it is not normally economically attractive to consider other alternatives to multistage separation to stabilize the crude. In addition, the requirement to treat the oil at high temperature is more important than stabilizing the liquid and may require the flashing of both intermediate and heavy components to the gas stream.

Gas condensate, on the other hand, may contain a relatively high percentage of intermediate components. Thus, some sort of condensate stabilization should be considered for each gas well production facility.

The most common method used to remove the light components from hydrocarbon liquids before the liquid enters a stock tank or a pipeline is...

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Gas compressors and gas compressor systems circulate gas through a process, enhance conditions for chemical reactions, provide inert gas for safety or control systems, recover and recompress process gas, and maintain correct pressure levels by either adding and removing gas or vapors from a process system.
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Midstream services include operators who specialize in the compression, transportation, collection, processing, or treatment of crude oil, natural gas, or natural gas liquids. They are labelled midstream operators because they are significant players in the consumable energy supply chain, but do not function as a resource harvester (upstream) or merchant (downstream).
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Refining and recovery equipment include systems for the purification and treatment of metals, precious alloys, oils, fuels, and other valuable constituents from waste streams or raw materials.

Topics of Interest

Introduction When hydrocarbons (crude oil, condensate, and natural gas) are produced, the well stream typically contains water produced in association with these hydrocarbons. The produced water is...

6.1 INTRODUCTION Hydrocarbon condensate recovered from natural gas may be shipped without further processing but is stabilized often for blending into the crude oil stream and thereby sold as crude...

OVERVIEW Crude oil as produced in the oil field is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons ranging from methane to asphalt, with varying proportions of paraffins, naphthenes, and aromatics. The objective...

Introduction Produced wellhead fluids are complex mixtures of different compounds of hydrogen and carbon, all with different densities, vapor pressures, and other physical characteristics. As a well...

OVERVIEW Petroleum exploration is largely concerned with the search for oil and gas, two of the chemically and physically diverse group of compounds termed the hydrocarbons. Physically, hydrocarbons...