Common Problems With Separators

According to offshore reliability data (OREDA 2002), the leading cause in separator failure is level instrumentation. Traditional instrumentation in separators is susceptible to the harsh process conditions, wear and malfunctions due to sludge, emulsion and solids.

Separator failure statistics according to Offshore Reliability Data (OREDA 2002)

Conditions inside separators can be harsh due to temperature, pressure, chemicals etc. Failure to detect and measure levels, layers and interfaces of different materials, especially emulsion, is a challenge that Oil & Gas operators around the world face daily. Furthermore, emulsion optimization is a tricky process and easily leads to overuse of chemicals. All these challenges cost money, even before a separator failure.

Rocsole's Solution and Benefits

Here at Rocsole, we've developed our systems to work accurately in hostile environments without posing any HSE risks or without the burden of handling nucleonic devices, while offering a real-time profile of the separator. The systems consists of a computer, an electronics cabinet (IECEx certification available) and the sensor - Rocsole Separator Profiler.

  • Avoid H2S safety risk when working with manual samples in tanks
Non-nucleonic
  • Safe, improved HSE
  • Reduced admin
  • Oil field life cycle optimization
  • Increased production throughput
  • Reduced need for Shutdowns & optimized chemical costs
  • Improved separation efficiency by optimizing the emulsion
  • Real-time process optimization
  • Improves asset environmental compliance
  • Low maintenance
  • 24/7 data monitoring all data to database

Rocsole Separator Profiler

Rocsole Separator Profiler is available as an IECEx certified version and a non-IECEx certified version for processes that do not call for intrinsic safety. The separator profiler is easy to install using existing flanges on the separator and therefore does not require modifications to the target. The Separator Profiler does not require regular maintenance nor cleaning, and can be connected to PLCs and DCSs (Modbus and analog outputs available). Commissioning can be performed remotely or on-site.

Typical installation of Rocsole Separator Profiler.

How To Reliably Measure Emulsion

We have also conducted tests in which we compared our Profiler's performance against nucleonic device. Rocsole Profiler was installed to a separator in a medium scale three-phase flow loop. Test runs were performed between November 6th, 2018 and November 26th, 2018.

Raw measurements were recorded with approximately 1 Hz frame rate. 127 density profiles were recorded with a nucleonic gamma scanner. Gamma scanner moves vertically and gives point-wise measurements (one complete scan taking 15-20 minutes).

Profiler measures conductivities, which are converted to water cut and then compared to profiles produced by the gamma scanner. The table below shows result comparisons of both sensors with a one minute time resolution.

Rocsole Profilers are See Beyond compliant.

As the Profiler utilizes Rocsole's See Beyond technology, which means that it is not affected by contamination unlike traditional instrumentation, all the results from the Profiler are computed with a same set of algorithms and parameters and without calibration in between the measurements.

The purpose of the test campaign was to verify the performance of the Rocsole profiler vs. typical nucleonic device (reference)
Rocsole Nucleonic
Measurement time 1 second 15-20 minutes
Installation type Fixed Vertical movement
(0.04 in/s, 1.00 mm/s)
Operating principle Electrical conductivity * Density *
Rocsole profiler was installed in a 3-phase separator in a closed medium scale multi-phase flow loop. Test runs were performed between November 6th, 2018 and November 26th, 2018.
Note that Gamma water cut (cyan) is closer to the first water cut profile in the bottom part of the tank …and close to the last profile in upper part of the tank.
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How To Accurately Detect Sand and Solids

Utilizing leading-edge tomographic technology, our Separator Profiler is a real-time non-radioactive monitoring solution that physically sees and measures separator's emulsion layer, improving separation efficiency by optimizing residence time and resulting in higher quality output downstream. Process imaging and measurement is accomplished using a sensor, which is simple to install and requires minimal maintenance. The system works with solids, foams, liquids and gas.

Before the installation of a profiler, the solid level cannot be seen. After installing the sensor, the solid layer is visible and provides real-time infromation of the growth speed of the layer, optimizing cleaning periods.
Before the installation of a profiler, the solid level cannot be seen. After installing the sensor, the solid layer is visible and provides real-time infromation of the growth speed of the layer, optimizing cleaning periods.

Delivery Content

Rocsole Separator Profiler delivery content includes:

  • Separator Profiler
  • Electrical cabinet
  • All-in-One computer
  • Stainless steel cable
  • Power cable
  • Ex-e gland for power & RS-422

Delivery Content of an IECEx Certified Separator Profiler
Delivery Content of an IECEx Certified Separator Profiler
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Delivery Content of a standard, non-IECEx Separator Profiler
Delivery Content of a standard, non-IECEx Separator Profiler
Download large image (PDF)

Request a Tank Solution

Need a solution? Head to Request Solutions page, fill out the form and wait for our swift reply.

Need something different? Contact us, and let us worry about the rest. We can modify the design to fit your separator perfectly.

We are here to help you, don't hesitate to contact us!

Pekka Kaunisto

Pekka Kaunisto

Vice President Sales +358 40 024 0707 pekka.kaunistorocsole.com
Piia Hottinen

Piia Hottinen

Customer Service Manager +358 44 274 4082 piia.hottinenrocsole.com
Pasi Laakkonen

Pasi Laakkonen

CBO +358 40 147 8797 pasi.laakkonenrocsole.com
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