US2420115A - Methods of and apparatus for treating oil well streams - Google Patents

Methods of and apparatus for treating oil well streams Download PDF

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US2420115A
US2420115A US539718A US53971844A US2420115A US 2420115 A US2420115 A US 2420115A US 539718 A US539718 A US 539718A US 53971844 A US53971844 A US 53971844A US 2420115 A US2420115 A US 2420115A
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oil
gas
water
pipe
chamber
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Jay P Walker
Clarence O Glasgow
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Jay P Walker
Clarence O Glasgow
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B01PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL PROCESSES OR APPARATUS IN GENERAL
    • B01DSEPARATION
    • B01D19/00Degasification of liquids
    • B01D19/02Foam dispersion or prevention
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C10PETROLEUM, GAS OR COKE INDUSTRIES; TECHNICAL GASES CONTAINING CARBON MONOXIDE; FUELS; LUBRICANTS; PEAT
    • C10GCRACKING HYDROCARBON OILS; PRODUCTION OF LIQUID HYDROCARBON MIXTURES, e.g. BY DESTRUCTIVE HYDROGENATION, OLIGOMERISATION, POLYMERISATION; RECOVERY OF HYDROCARBON OILS FROM OIL-SHALE, OIL-SAND, OR GASES; REFINING MIXTURES MAINLY CONSISTING OF HYDROCARBONS; REFORMING OF NAPHTHA; MINERAL WAXES
    • C10G33/00Dewatering or demulsification of hydrocarbon oils
    • C10G33/06Dewatering or demulsification of hydrocarbon oils with mechanical means, e.g. by filtration

Description

May 6, 1947. J. P. WALKER ETAL 2,420,115

METHODS OF AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING OIL WELL STREAMS Filed June 10, 1944 5 Sheets-Sheet l A TTORNEYJ' Jay 1? Walker 6 Clarence 0. Glasgow INVENTOR;

May 6, 1947. J. P. WALKER ETAL 2,420,115

METHODS OF AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING OIL WELL STREAMS Filed June 10, 1944 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Jay 1? lV/ker cf Clarence 0. Glasgow INV EN TORI WA M T TOPNEKI' 6, 1947. J. P. WALKER ETAL 2,420,115

METHODS OF AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING OIL WELL STREAMS Filed June 10, 1944 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Jay R W'alkel' d Clarence (2 Glasgow I N VEN TORJ B 1%qI/Z A TTORNEYS' ay 6, 1947. J. P. WALKER ETAL METH ODS OF AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING OIL WELL STREAMS Filed June 10, 1944 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Jay 1? Walker 4 Clarence 0. Glasgow INVENTORJ A T TORIVEYS y 1947- J. P. WALKER ET AL 2,420,115

METHODS OF AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING OIL WELL STREAMS Filed June 10, 1944 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 on. LEVEL Jay]? Walkerl I W Clarence 0. Glasgow 3mm Patented May 6, 1947 UNITED STATES ZAZMlS PATENT OFFICE Jay P. Walkerand Clarence 0. Glasgow, Tulsa, Okla.

Application Julie 10, 1944; Serial No. 539,718

21 Claims. 1

This invention relatesto' new and useful immovements in methods of and apparatuses for treating oil well streams.

A particular object of the invention is to provide an improved method of and apparatus for defoaming oil well streams, whereby foaming is reducedto" a minimum or is substantially prevented.

It is known that in many oil fields a large amount of foam is generated when gas is mixed with certain gravities' of crude oil in the production thereof, This foaming is aggravated when such a stream is dumped or discharged into an accumulating area. Foaming is primarily due to the gas flowing with the oil in solution, but agitation of the stream adds to the dimculty; and this is particularly true where large quantities of gas flow with the stream.

Excessive foaming defeats efilcient emulsion treating and frequently prevents adequate separation of the oil and water. In some instances the foaming is so bad that the oil and gas will not separate in an oil and gas separator, thus causing objectionable quantities of oil to" escape with the gas from the separator. It has been found that by degassing the well stream under the proper conditions, foaming will substantially be eliminated.

important object of the invention is to provide an improved method and apparatus whereby, the foaming well stream is heated to release gas in solution, preferably by passing the stream through a body of heated water; and also in aggravated cases passing the stream through a medium whereby, the oil globules are ruptured or broken up to' more efiectual'ly release the dissolvedgas.

Another object is to control the temperature of the heating liquid in accordance with the composition of the particular mixture being treated in order to release sufficient gas to elimihate foaming, or substantially so. It is known that quantities of gas in solution, depending upon the particular mixture, cannot be released with out lowering the gravity of the oil; however, unless gas in solution is released, there will be foaming. Also different degrees of heat are re quired torelease suificient gas from difi'erent mixtures to eliminate foaming. Thus, the control of the temperature of the heating medium becomes highly important.

instances where the gas is to be taken toa gasoline plant, or otherwise processed, it may be more profitable to release large quantities of dissolved gas from the oil, even though the 2 gravity of the of} conducted to the stock tank is lowered; however, where it is more desirable to deliver the oil with the highest gravity obtainable, or to restore gravity to the treated oil, the 5 released gas must be again mixed with the oil. It is therefore one of the objects of the invention to reabsorb the gas in the treated oil to raise or restore the gravity of the oil.

It is also desirable to produce a treating unit of some flexibility thus permitting it to be moved from one location to another location. Also it may be desirable to carry off the free gas before discharging the infiuent liquids into a body of previously accumulated liquids. Therefore, another object of the invention is to provide a treating unit, whereby a relatively small gas separator may be attached to it and the influent delivered to this separator before discharging it into the defoaming chamber; said infiuent either being preheated or not preheated.

A construction designed to carry out the invention will be hereinafter described together with other features of the invention.

The invention will be more readily understood from a reading of the following specification and by reference to the accompanying drawing, wherein an example of the invention is shown, and wherein Figure 1 is a schematic view partly in elevation and partly in vertical section, showing an apparatus for carrying out the invention,

Figure 2 is a horizontal cross-sectional view takenon the line 2-- 2 of Figure 1,

Figure 3 is an invertedhorizontal cross-sec 35 tional view taken on the line 3-3 of Figure 1,

Figure 4 is a transverse vertical sectional view of the treater unit showing a gas separator mounted thereon,

Figure 5 is a view partly in elevation and partly in section, showing another form of apparatus, and

Figure 6 is a similar view of still another form ofapparatus.

the drawings (Figs. 1 to 4), the numeral 10 designates an upright tank mounted on an an molar base H and having a dished bottom l2, which may be provided with a suitable cleanout connection l3, whereby settled and extraneous matter may be drained and Washed out. The upper end of the tank is closed by a crowned head M having acentral opening surrounded by a flanged colla [-5.

A transverse dished partition l6 spaced below the top of the; tank forms the bottom of a defoaming chamber A at the upper portion of the tank. This partition separates the chamber from a washing or treating chamber B extending to the bottom of the tank. A cleanout pipe l'l leads from the center of the partition, across the chambe B and out through the wall of the tank.

An upright cylindrical preheater or heat exchanger C is mounted on the exterior of the tank similar to the heat exchanger set forth in the patent to Jay P. Walker, No. 2,181,685. This exchanger includes a lower tube sheet 3 and an upper tube sheet [9, spaced from its ends. Upright spaced tubes have their ends secured in said tube sheets and open for the passage of fluids therethrough. The exchanger has an inlet 2| in its side below the tube sheet l8 for admitting the well stream. An angular pipe 22 leads from the top of the exchanger to the wall of the tank and discharges into the chamber A, above the partition It.

An oil discharge nipple 23 connects the upper portion of the chamber B with the exchanger below the tube sheet l9, whereby heated oil accumulates in the space around the tubes 20, and thus the cooler influent fiuids passing up through the tubes are warmed or heated by heat exchange with the heated oil, whereby the latter is cooled. An oil discharge pipe 24 leads from the exchanger a short distance above the tube sheet 18, whereby the treated oil may be disposed of as hereinafter set forth. Just below the tube sheet [9 a nipple 25 connects the chamber B above the nipple 23, with the exchanger whereby gas may pass back and forth and pressures may be equalized.

A nozzle or spreader 26 extends across the chamber A, just above the discharge of the inlet pipe 22. This spreader may be of any suitable design and I have shown an inverted V-shaped structure provided with perforations 21 spaced therealong, preferably on each side of the ridge thereof. The purpose of the spreader is to divide the influent into a multiplicity of upwardly flowin dispersed streams. The size of these streams may be governed by the size of the perforations and the dispersion may be controlled by the spacing of said perforations.

Spaced a short distance above the spreader 2B is a transverse filter D, which may be of any construction suitable for the purpose. The structure shown includes a foraminous transverse bottom sheet 28 which may be made of wire fabric, reticulated sheet metal o wood lattice, all of which is common in the art. This bottom sheet supports a bed or transverse body of filtering material 29, such as excelsior, hay, or fibrous material. However, the filter material must be of such character, and the body of such porosity as to permit the passage therethrough of water and oil, but to break up the oil globules or bubbles and thereby free gas therefrom.

The filter body is confined by a transverse sheet 30. The sheets 28 and 3B are suitably secured at their circumferential margins to the tank wall. The sheet 30, is located at the medial portion of the chamber A and supports an upright partition 3|, offset from the center of the tank. The partition 3|, coacting with the tank wall and sheet Si), defines an open-top skimming tray E. That portion of the sheet 30 underlying the tray E is perforated and may be similar to the sheet 28, while the remainder of the sheet on the opposite of the partition 3i is imperforate and forms the bottom of a baffling tray F. Staggered and downwardly inclined bafiles 32 are secured to the tank wall and said partition. That portion of the chamber A above the trays forms a gas space G.

4 A gas flow and pressure equalizing pipe 33 extends from the top of the chamber B up through the elements It, 26, D and E to the space G.

The purpose of the deioaming chamber A is broadly, to separate oil, gas and water. As before pointed out in many oil fields a large amount of foam is generated when gas is mixed with certain gravities of crude oil; and the foaming is aggravated when the stream is dumped or discharged into an accumulating area. It is also desirable for eflicient treating to carry off the free gas. By providing a body of wate in the chamber A, into which the emulsified oil is discharged and by heating such body of water to from F. to F. (the degrees being merely exemplary) according to the particular oil being treated, much of the gas in solution with the oil will be driven off and foaming thereby reduced. Also by reducin agitation some foaming is prevented. However, the heat treatment alone, in some compositions of oil, gas and water, is not sufficient to break up the oil globules or bubbles and release the gas, and therefore the filter D is employed. This filter may be omitted if heat treatment is found sufficient for the desired results.

The dispersion and distribution of the influent is highly advantageous both in heating and filtering as it more uniformly heats the influent and more effectively releases the gas. More or less free water may flow with the emulsified oil and it is desirable to extract such water from the chamber A so that it will not accompany the oil through the remainder of the apparatus and thereby add to both the subsequent heating and treating load. While free water and gas are separated from the influent in the chamber A and foaming is reduced to a minimum, it is necessary to further treat the oil to fully break up the emulsion, particularly the tighter emulsion.

A water discharge pipe or leg 36 extends down through the tray E and filter D to a point near the partition I6, and is connected at its top with an exterior syphon box 35 by a nipple 36 extending through the tank wall. The upper end of the box is connected with the gas space G by a nipple 37. This syphon box and its operation are fully explained in the patent of Jay P. Walker, No. 2,297,297. A discharge pipe 38, having a cutoif valve 39 therein, leads down from the bottom of the box. This syphon box arrangement is located to maintain, a water level in the tray E, a suitable distance below the upper edge of the partition 3| and a body of water in the chamber A below the partition 33. The emulsified oil collects On top of the Water in the tray E and is skimmed off into the baflling tray F.

When it is desired to heat the water in the chamber A, a circulating heating system is employed which includes a suitable water heater H, the particular construction of which is not involved in this invention. A water discharge pipe 46 leads from the bottom of the chamber A to the heater and includes a hand valve 4|; while a return water pipe 32 including a similar valve 53, leads from the heater to the tray E. When it is not desired to use the heating system the valves 4| and 43 are closed. The valve 39 may be adjusted to control the water discharge through the pipe 38 when necessary. By placing the heater H on the ground the pipe 40 will be given sufficient length and the water flowing down this pipe will cool rapidly. Thus the heating system will set up an efficient thermo-syphonic action, and the water in the chamber A will be effectively heated. Of course, the heater may be regulated to vary the temperature to which the water is heated.

It will be observed that the gas space G is comparatively large and gas is discharged therefrom through an escape pipe 44 mounted in the head M. The pipe 44 carries an ordinary safety Valve 45, which may be set to carry a predetermined pressure within the tank. Some condensing of gaseous mixtures will occur in the space G and this will be particularly true where warmer gaseous mixtures pass from the chamber B up through the pipe 33 and commingle with the cooler gases therein. Also cooler gases may pass from the space G down into the chamber B, through said pipe. Any condensates produced in the space G will fall into the oil and thus not be lost.

The emulsified oil skimmed off of the tray E will flow down the baflies 32 in the tray F, whereby additional gas will be scrubbed out of the oil. A conductor or down pipe 48 leads from the bottom of this tray and is made of such diameter or capacity as to readily carry off the emulsified oil which flows into the tray F, thus avoiding an accumulation of oil in said tray and giving the baffles full opportunity to function in scrubbing remaining gas from the oil, By the time the emulsified oil enters the pipe i6, it will be substantially defoamed, substantially free from water and more or less quiescent.

By defoaming the emulsified oil in the chamber A, a marked advance is made in the treating of emulsified oils. Excessive foaming frequently causes quantities of oil to flow out the gas discharge lines. Where large quantities of gas flow with the Well stream considerable finely dispersed oil particles and gaseous fluids are carried by the flowing gas. Where gas is in solution with the oil, oil-gas fractions are in various states or degrees of equilibrium and thus, if the volume or velocity of the discharging gas is considerable, such fractions hearing more or less oil, as well as finely dispersed oil particles, are readily picked up and carried out with the gas. In transit many of the oil-gas globules are broken up and oil may thus flow out of the gas discharge lines with the gas. Further, agitation accompanying foaming, churns the gas and accentuates its tendency to pick up oil fractions. These undesirable results are substantially avoided by the treatment in the defoaming chamber A.

It may be desirable in handling some well streams to first release and scrub out some gas before discharging the liquids into the defoaming chamber A. In Figure 4, we have illustrated a form of structure for this purpose. A small gas separator J is provided with a reduced lower end having a flange ii which is mounted upon and bolted to the flange of the collar i on top of the tank ID of Fig. 1, The interior structure of this separator is similar to the tower 26 shown in the Jay P. Walter Patent No. 2,297,297, in that it is equipped with a diverter 48, and a gas scrubbing shell 49 provided with inlet openings 50, which function substantally as set forth in said patent.

In this form (Fig. 4) the pipe 22 is provided with an extension 22' which includes a cut-off valve 9!] and is connected to the diverter 48. The pipe 22 in Fig. 4 has a cut-off valve 9| which may be closed when the gas separator J is used. In case it is not desired to use the preheater, the valves Q8 and 9| are closed and the influent is supplied through a pipe 92 connected to the pipe 22' and including a cut-off valve 93. A fiume 51 extends from the bottom of the separator through the collar 15 into the chamber A which chamber is substantially the same in construction as in Fig. l. The lower end of the fiume may terminate in the filter bed 29, so as to discharge the liquids thereinto. A drain pipe 52 leads from the bottom of the shell to down through the fiume to the lower end thereof. A gas flow and equalizing pipe 53 connects the top of the separator shell with the top of the gas space G in the chamber A.

The well or emulsified stream enters through the diverter 48 and is whirled around on the inner surface of the separator, whereby the free gas is released and some gas in solution is scrubbed out. The shell 49 acts more or less as a mist extractor wherein some liquid will be extracted and pass down the drain pipe 52.

The emulsified oil accompanied by the free water will flow down the separator and through the fiume 5!. As the filter D is immersed in the body of heated water in the chamber A the free water will gravitate toward the bottom of said chamber. The emulsified oil will flow upwardly through the filter bed 29, whereby the oil globules or bubbles will be broken up. This oil will also be heated while flowing upwardly through the heated water, with the result that suificient gas in solution will be released to reduce foaming to a minimum. The gas released in the separator J will flow up and out through pipe 68 if Valve 69 is open or down the pipe 53 and commingle with the hotter gas in the space G, if valve 69 is closed and valve iii is open whereby some condensation of hydrocarbons will occur. If valves 69 and 16 are both open then gas will flow from the space G to the pipe 68 and escape.

The construction and operation of chamber 13, wherein the emulsified oil is again heated and washed, is substantially the same as disclosed in the Jay P. Walker Patents 2,181,688 and 2,297,297. The pipe 35 which conducts the defoamed oil down into the chamber B is disposed at one side of said chamber and has a plug 54 at its bottom for clean-out purposes. Immediately above the lower end of said pipe a lateral 55 extends from the pipe to the central portion of the lower end of the chamber where it is connected to the medial portion of a spreader substantially the same in construction as the spreader 26. A return flue heater 57 is mounted above the spreader and the spreader and heater are confined in the lower portion of a housing 58 as in said patents supra.

The housing 58 is provided with inclined staggered baffles 59, also with a filter 6t and return passages 3| on each side thereof, the pipe 46 being located in one of these passages. In the other passage 6|, a water discharge pipe 62 extends upwardly and is connected with a syphon box 63 by a lateral 84%. A gas vent pipe 55 leads from the top of the box into the gas space above the oil level in the chamber B and the top of the box is also connected with the lower end of the water discharge pipe 38 extending from the box 35. A water discharge pipe 63' extends from the bottom of the box 63.

The gas discharge pipe 44 (Fig. 1) may be connected with a pipe 68 having a cut-off valve 67 therein for the purpose of carrying off the gas from the space G of the chamber A; while a gas discharge pipe 68 (Fig. 4) having a cut-off valve 69 therein may be connected with the gas pipe 53. The pipe 53 may also be equipped with a cutofi valve ill adjacent the head It. It may be desirable to carry off the gas to a gasoline plant or otherwise use it, or it may be more advantageous to admix it with the treated oil to raise the gravity thereof, or to do both. Suitable connections and adjustments may be made to attain these results and as they are obvious, further explanation is considered unnecessary.

The degree of heat employed in the chamber A is subject to a wide variation. One of the important features of the invention is the control of the temperature of the water in the chamber A and this may be done by adjusting the valve 4| in the pipe 40, by regulating the heater H or in any other suitable manner. The valve may be thermostatically controlled which is in common use in the valve art. Foaming may be substantially eliminated from some emulsified oils by heat alone, thus omitting the filter D. The temperature of the water in the chamber A may even be higher than the temperature of the water in the chamber B; however, in such event while some emulsion may be broken in the chamber A, the actual washing therein is not sufiicient to completely break down the emulsion. Simply heating the water in chamber A is not sufficient. In order to eliminate foaming, the composition of the well stream should be known and the temperature controlled accordingly.

There may be conditions where the temperature to which it is desirable to heat the water in chamber A, may be approximately 130 F.; while the temperature to which the water in chamber 13 was heated would be approximately 120 F. In most operations, the temperature of the water in the chamber A would be lower than the temperature to which the water in chamber 13 is heated. As an example, the water in chamber A may be heated to approximately 130 F. and higher; while the temperature to which the water in the chamber B is heated may be approximately 140 F. or higher.

Where it is desired to admix the treated oil discharged from the heat exchanger or preheater C through the pipe 24, with the gas discharged from the space G, by way of the pipe 44 (Fig. 1), said pipe may be connected with an absorber K by means of a pipe II. In such an instance the pipe 60 would either be omitted or the valve 61 closed. The pipe 24 would also be connected with the absorber by a pipe 12 having a cut-oiT valve I3 therein. An oil discharge pipe I4 having a cut-ofi valve '15 therein may be connected to the pipe 24. Thus, the treated oil may be conducted to the absorber or carried off to the stock tanks, by properly adjusting the valves I3 and I5.

Where the emulsified oil is heated to an appreciable degree in the chamber A as for instance as high as 160 F. to 190 F., or where the gas to oil ratio is high and/or large quantities of gas are taken off in the space G, it would be detrimental to the gravity of the treated oil not to reabsorb this gas in such oil. Of course, if the gasoline plant was available to carry off the gas or a considerable portion thereof to such a plant, the absorber would not be required. The disposition of the gas thus becomes optional.

The absorber may be of any construction suitable for the purpose. We have illustrated the absorber as including an upright vessel or tower 50 having a bottom TI and a head 18 and mounted on a base I0. A gas escape pipe 80 leads from the head and an oil discharge pipe 3| extends from the lower end of the tower. The pipe 8I is equipped with the usual float controlled discharge valve 82. The tower is provided with ordinary bubble trays 03, connected by overflow pipes 84. The gas pipe II is connected in the side of the tower belowthe trays, while an oil inlet pipe 12 is connected in the side of the tower above the trays. As is common in absorbers, the gas flows upwardly and the oil flows downwardly. This countercurrent flow whereby the oil and gas are brought into intimate contact, causes the oil to reabsorb gas sufficiently to restore it to approximately the same gravity it had when entering the treater.

Another form of apparatus is shown in Fig- .1re 5. An upright tank I00 is provided with a relatively large central fiume IOI resting on the bottom of the tank and extending through the head I02. The fiume extends upwardly from the head I02 a sufiicient distance to provide a gas chamber I03 having a gas outlet collar I04. An infiuent inlet pipe I05 extends through the side wall of the tank and into the fiume near the bottom thereof. This pipe is provided with an upturned elbow I00. The inlet pipe may lead from a suitable preheater (not shown).

Above the inlet elbow I00, a plurality Of staggered cross bafiles I01 are mounted in the fiume. Just above the head I02 an upwardly inclined baiile I08 may be installed so as to provide a narrow exit between its free edge and the wall of the fiume. This bame will retard the upward passage of the oil and coact with the battles I01 in scrubbing out the occluded gas. A heater H similar to heater H is connected with the fiume by pipes 40' and 42' operating similarly to the pipes 40 and 42.

A cross partition I09 surrounds the fiume above the pipes I05 and 40. A similar cross partition H0 is mounted a substantial distance above the partition I09 and these partitions are provided with perforations III on opposite sides of the fiume. The space between these partitions may be filled with filtering material to provide a filter D' similar to the filter D. An oil conducting pipe I I2 leads from the partition I09, through the partition H0 and the head I02, and extends laterally into the fiume immediately above the baflle I08. The oil accumulating above the bafiie I08 enters and flows down this pipe so as to be discharged below the partition I09.

The infiuent which flows up the fiume passes through a filter I I3 similar to the filter D and this filter serves to break up the oil globules and release gas in solution with the oil. After the oil has been degassed in the fiume, the gas escapes to the chamber I03 and the oil is discharged into the pipe H2. The fiume corresponds to some extent to the degassing chamber A of Figure 1. The oil which is discharged into the chamber below the partition I09 passes up through the filter D and the water is thus washed out of the oil. The treated oil collects in the upper section of the tank and escapes through an outlet IM. A water discharge pipe II5 leads from the lower end of the tank and is connected with an ordinary adjustable water leg H6, whereby a water level is maintained in the tank. The water leg is usually installed in the field and is arranged by the workmen so as to maintain the desired water level for the particular installation. The water level in the fiume is maintained by the heating arrangement.

The outlet II4 may be connected with the absorber K, or through the preheater C, if desired. Free water could be taken out of the bottom of the fiume by a pipe Ill having a valve H8, or by any suitable means.

I Still another form is shown in Figure 6 which is in some respects similar to Figure 5 as it includes the tank I00, flume I HI, balile I08, partition I09, oil outlet H4, heater H and heater pipes and 42'. This form may have the Water discharged as in Figure and it is not considered necessary to illustrate the same. The tanks in both Figures 5 and 6 have a gas chamber M above the oil level.

At the upper end of the flume is a gas separator S similar to the separator J and having an infiuent inlet I20, a diverter 48, a dished bottom I2I and a gas outlet I22. A gas equalizing pipe I23 extends from the bottom I2I into the gas separator. A down pipe I24 leads from the bottom I2I down the flume and discharges adjacent the bottom thereof. The pipe passes through staggered baiiles I25 similar to the baflles I01.

A discharge pipe I20 leads from the flume just above the bafile I 08 and connects with a vertical stack I21. This stack has its lower end discharging through the partition I09 and its upper end above the pipe I26 closed by a cap I28 and constituting a gas space. The cap is connected with the gas separator S by a pipe I29. The partltion I09 has perforations I09 on the opposite side of the tank from-the discharge of the stack I21 so that the emulsified oil must flow across the tank to escape upwardly through said perforations, thereby givin -the free water a better opportunity to drop out of the mixture while fiowing across the tank under said partition.

A relatively large body of oil floats on the body of water in the mid portion of the tank. A filter I 30 comprises filtering material I3I held between plates I32 and I33, similar to the filter D. Transverse baflles I34 depend from the plate I32 in staggered relation to transverse baffles I35 extending upwardly from the partition I09. The emulsified oil rising through the perforations I 09' must flow over and under these bafiies to reach the perforations I I I in the plate I32, thus causing additional water to drop out of the emulsified oil. The free and precipitated or separated water may be carried off in any suitable manner, as by means of the water leg IIB as is shown in Fig. 5.

The foregoing description of the invention is explanatory thereof and various changes in the size, shape and materials, as well as in the details of the illustrated construction may be made, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What we claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. The method of treating emulsified oil well streams to defoam said streams and to break down the emulsion which includes, discharging the well stream directly into a body of heated water, flowing the emulsified oil through said body of water to heat said oil and primarily release gas therefrom, controlling the temperature of said water in accordance with the composition of the particular mixture being treated in order to release sufficient gas to eliminate foam, and thereafter washing the defoamed oil in a body of water heated to a temperature sufficient to break the emulsion.

2. The method of treating and defoaming emulsified well streams as set forth in claim 1, with the step of filtering the upwardly flowing emulsified oil to break up oil-gas lobules and release additional gas.

3. The method of treating and defoaming emulsified well streams as set forth in claim 1, with the step of baflling the released gas.

4. The method of treating and defoaming emulsified well streams as set forth in claim 1, with the step of passing the well stream in heat exchange relation with the washed oil to preheat said stream and to cool said oil.

5. The method of treating and defoaming emulsified well streams as set forth in claim 1, with the step of carrying off free water from the well stream prior to the washing step.

6. The method of treating and defoaming emulsified well streams as set forth in claim 1, wherein gas is released from the stream prior to discharging said stream in the first body of water.

7. The method of treating and defoaming emulsified well streams as set forth in claim 1 with the step of reabsorbing the released gas in the washed oil.

8. The method of treating oil well emulsions to defoam and to break down the emulsion which includes, passing the emulsified oil in intimate contact with a body of heated water while flowing the oil and water in counter-current relation to liberate gas in solution in the oil and thus defoam the emulsion, circulating and heating said water, carrying off the liberated gas separately from the oil and water, then washing the emulsion and oil in a second and more quiescent body of heated water to remove water therefrom, car rying oil water, and carrying off the washed oil.

9. The method as set forth in claim 8, wherein the oil passing upwardly while flowing countercurrently in contact with the water is partially obstructed to break up globules containing gas to increase the liberation of the gas in solution.

10. The method as set forth in claim 8, with the step of passing the washed oil and liberated gas in intimate contact to reabsorb gas in the oil.

11. The method as set forth in claim 8, which includes discharging the emulsified oil into a body of water heated to a sufficient degree to liberate gas in solution and breaking up the oil globules to further release gas in solution, whereby foaming is minimized, collecting the released gas, carrying ofi the released gas, thermosyphonically circulating the water of said body, carrying off free water flowing with the emulsion, then washing the emulsified oil in a body of heated water, carrying off the treated oil, and then commingling the gas and treated oil which are carried off, whereby the treated oil reabsorbs such gas and its gravity is raised.

12. The method as set forth in claim 8, which includes discharging the emulsified oil into a body of water heated to a sufficient degree to liberate gas in solution and breaking up the oil gloubles to further release gas in solution, whereby foaming is minimized, collecting the released gas, carrying off the released gas, thermosyphonically circulating the water of said body, carrying 011" free water flowing with the emulsion, then washing the emulsified oil in a body of heated water, carrying off the treated oil, and passing the gas and oil which are carried off in intimate contact while flowing countercurrently to cause the treated oil to reabsorb gas for the purpose of raising the gravity of the oil.

13. The method of treating flowing oil well streams to break down emulsions and to eliminate foaming which includes, discharging the well stream directly into a body of heated water and flowing the emulsified oil therein to heat said oil and release gas therefrom, carrying off free water from said stream, filtering and baffling said emulsified oil to release gas therefrom, carrying off the released gas, then washing the emulsified oil in a bodyof heated water, carrying off the treated oil substantially free from water, and carrying off the water from the washing step.

14. The method as set forth in claim 13, with the step of passing the treated oil in heat exchange relation with the well stream to preheat said stream and to cool said oil.

15. The method as set forth in'claim 14 with the step of reabsorbing released gas in the treated oil to raise the gravity thereof.

16. The method of treating emulsified oil well streams to defoam and to break down the emulsion which includes, discharging the well stream directly into a body of heated water and flowing the emulsified oil therein to heat said oil and release gas therefrom, controlling the temperature of said water in accordance with the composition of the particular mixture being treated in order to release sufficient gas to defoam the mixture, obstructing the upward fiow of emulsified oil to further release gas therefrom, collecting and overflowing the oil above said body of water, then conducting the emulsified oil through a second body of heated water to break down the emulsion, and separately carrying off water and oil from the washing step.

17. In an apparatus for treating emulsified well streams and defoaming the stream, the combination of a vessel having a well stream inlet, means in said vessel for heating the emulsified oil to degas it and to eliminate foaming during the treatment, means for controlling the temperature of the heating means in said vessel, means for discharging released gas from said vessel, means in the vessel for breaking up oilgas globules, means for overflowing defoamed oil from the vessel, a second vessel, a conductor for carrying the defoamed emulsified oil from the overflow of the first vessel to the lower portion of the second vessel, the second vessel containing a body of heated water into which the emulsified oil is discharged, means in the sec- 12 end vessel for dispersing and bafiling the emulsified oil as it flows upwardly through the body of water therein, an oil discharge leading from the second vessel, and a water discharge leading from the second vessel.

18. An apparatus for treating and defoaming emulsified oil well streams as set forth in claim 17, with means in the first vessel for retarding the upward flow of the influent therein to break up the emulsion.

19. An apparatus for treating and defoaming emulsified oil well streams as set forth in claim 17, with means for separating gas from the influent before it is discharged into the first vessel.

20. An apparatus for treating and defoaming emulsified oil well streams as set forth in claim 17, with an absorber connected with the gas outlet of the first vessel and the oil outlet of the second vessel.

21. The method of treating emulsified oil well streams to defoam said streams and break down the emulsions which includes, discharging the stream into a body of heated water, flowing the emulsified oil upwardly through said body of water to release suflicient gas therefrom to eliminate foaming, and thereafter washing the defoamed oil in a body of water heated to a temperature sufficient to break the emulsion.

JAY P. WALKER. CLARENCE O. GLASGOW.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,948,481 Turner Feb. 20, 1934 2,165,703 Holmes July 11, 1939 2,188,018 Stewart Jan. 23, 1940 2,245,551 Adams et al June 17, 1941 2,273,915 Wellman Feb. 24, 1942 2,319,962 Walker May 25, 1943 2,327,877 De Bretteville May 2, 1944

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Cited By (31)

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US2522378A (en) * 1946-05-22 1950-09-12 Owens Corning Fiberglass Corp Resolving water and oil emulsions
US2522429A (en) * 1948-04-30 1950-09-12 Standard Oil Dev Co Apparatus for handling oil field emulsions
US2601904A (en) * 1946-12-03 1952-07-01 Salt Water Control Inc Method and apparatus for treating crude oil emulsions from oil wells
US2601903A (en) * 1948-02-24 1952-07-01 Salt Water Control Inc Method and apparatus for treating crude oil emulsions from oil wells
US2626007A (en) * 1951-01-05 1953-01-20 Alton P Musslewhite Atmosphere-type emulsion treater
US2658025A (en) * 1949-11-14 1953-11-03 Shropshire O Neill Tank Compan Oil treating apparatus having settling tank heating means
US2669538A (en) * 1949-02-18 1954-02-16 Standard Oil Dev Co Separation of vapors and viscous liquids
US2695679A (en) * 1945-04-30 1954-11-30 United Aircraft Prod Oil deaeration
US2740492A (en) * 1953-06-08 1956-04-03 Elmer R Williams Emulsion treater having water control system
US2765917A (en) * 1953-08-06 1956-10-09 Nat Tank Co Emulsion treaters
US2767848A (en) * 1951-07-30 1956-10-23 Exxon Research Engineering Co Apparatus for continuous withdrawal of immiscible liquid phases from a settling zone
US2811220A (en) * 1954-10-18 1957-10-29 Charles A Winslow Oil filter and air separator
US2811218A (en) * 1954-10-18 1957-10-29 Charles A Winslow Oil filter and air separator
US2939544A (en) * 1957-05-27 1960-06-07 Nat Tank Co Methods and means for treating emulsified well streams and condensing vapors evolved therefrom
US2940310A (en) * 1956-12-14 1960-06-14 Nat Tank Co Metering emulsion treaters
US2942689A (en) * 1958-04-25 1960-06-28 Nat Tank Co Treatment of crude oil
US2971376A (en) * 1957-10-07 1961-02-14 Nat Tank Co Metering emulsion treaters and treating methods
US2996142A (en) * 1961-08-15 Method and apparatus for dehydrating hydrocarbon condensate
US3135113A (en) * 1959-07-13 1964-06-02 Nat Tank Co Methods and means for treating and automatically transferring custody of petroleum
US3212234A (en) * 1961-03-20 1965-10-19 Black Sivalls & Bryson Inc Separation method and apparatus
US3389536A (en) * 1966-09-27 1968-06-25 Rheem Mfg Co Emulsion treater tank
US3418252A (en) * 1966-11-25 1968-12-24 Combustion Eng Emulsion treatment apparatus
US3528223A (en) * 1968-09-03 1970-09-15 Neill Tank Co Inc O Petroleum treater-separator
US4256470A (en) * 1977-12-22 1981-03-17 Wacker-Chemie Gmbh Process for the destruction of foam
US4960443A (en) * 1985-10-04 1990-10-02 Chevron Corporation Process for separation of hydrocarbon vapors and apparatus therefor
US5944989A (en) * 1996-07-09 1999-08-31 Reid; Roger P. Split-flow water filtration apparatus
US6709603B2 (en) 1996-07-09 2004-03-23 Roger P. Reid Split-flow water filtration apparatus and method
US8496740B1 (en) * 2011-07-26 2013-07-30 Will D. Ball, IV Apparatus for separating oil well products
US9744478B1 (en) 2014-07-22 2017-08-29 Kbk Industries, Llc Hydrodynamic water-oil separation breakthrough
US9873067B1 (en) 2013-11-26 2018-01-23 Kbk Industries, Llc Desanding, flow splitting, degassing vessel
US9884774B1 (en) 2015-02-04 2018-02-06 Kbk Industries, Llc Highly retentive automatically skimmable tank

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US1948481A (en) * 1933-05-13 1934-02-20 John B Turner Oil emulsion treating apparatus
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US2245551A (en) * 1937-06-01 1941-06-17 Socony Vacuum Oil Co Inc Method of separating water from oil
US2188018A (en) * 1938-02-24 1940-01-23 Duncan Tank & Welding Co Dehydration system for oil wells
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Cited By (33)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2996142A (en) * 1961-08-15 Method and apparatus for dehydrating hydrocarbon condensate
US2695679A (en) * 1945-04-30 1954-11-30 United Aircraft Prod Oil deaeration
US2522378A (en) * 1946-05-22 1950-09-12 Owens Corning Fiberglass Corp Resolving water and oil emulsions
US2601904A (en) * 1946-12-03 1952-07-01 Salt Water Control Inc Method and apparatus for treating crude oil emulsions from oil wells
US2601903A (en) * 1948-02-24 1952-07-01 Salt Water Control Inc Method and apparatus for treating crude oil emulsions from oil wells
US2522429A (en) * 1948-04-30 1950-09-12 Standard Oil Dev Co Apparatus for handling oil field emulsions
US2669538A (en) * 1949-02-18 1954-02-16 Standard Oil Dev Co Separation of vapors and viscous liquids
US2658025A (en) * 1949-11-14 1953-11-03 Shropshire O Neill Tank Compan Oil treating apparatus having settling tank heating means
US2626007A (en) * 1951-01-05 1953-01-20 Alton P Musslewhite Atmosphere-type emulsion treater
US2767848A (en) * 1951-07-30 1956-10-23 Exxon Research Engineering Co Apparatus for continuous withdrawal of immiscible liquid phases from a settling zone
US2740492A (en) * 1953-06-08 1956-04-03 Elmer R Williams Emulsion treater having water control system
US2765917A (en) * 1953-08-06 1956-10-09 Nat Tank Co Emulsion treaters
US2811220A (en) * 1954-10-18 1957-10-29 Charles A Winslow Oil filter and air separator
US2811218A (en) * 1954-10-18 1957-10-29 Charles A Winslow Oil filter and air separator
US2940310A (en) * 1956-12-14 1960-06-14 Nat Tank Co Metering emulsion treaters
US2939544A (en) * 1957-05-27 1960-06-07 Nat Tank Co Methods and means for treating emulsified well streams and condensing vapors evolved therefrom
US2971376A (en) * 1957-10-07 1961-02-14 Nat Tank Co Metering emulsion treaters and treating methods
US2942689A (en) * 1958-04-25 1960-06-28 Nat Tank Co Treatment of crude oil
US3135113A (en) * 1959-07-13 1964-06-02 Nat Tank Co Methods and means for treating and automatically transferring custody of petroleum
US3212234A (en) * 1961-03-20 1965-10-19 Black Sivalls & Bryson Inc Separation method and apparatus
US3389536A (en) * 1966-09-27 1968-06-25 Rheem Mfg Co Emulsion treater tank
US3418252A (en) * 1966-11-25 1968-12-24 Combustion Eng Emulsion treatment apparatus
US3528223A (en) * 1968-09-03 1970-09-15 Neill Tank Co Inc O Petroleum treater-separator
US4256470A (en) * 1977-12-22 1981-03-17 Wacker-Chemie Gmbh Process for the destruction of foam
US4960443A (en) * 1985-10-04 1990-10-02 Chevron Corporation Process for separation of hydrocarbon vapors and apparatus therefor
US6709603B2 (en) 1996-07-09 2004-03-23 Roger P. Reid Split-flow water filtration apparatus and method
US6277292B1 (en) 1996-07-09 2001-08-21 Roger P. Reid Split-flow water filtration apparatus and method
US5944989A (en) * 1996-07-09 1999-08-31 Reid; Roger P. Split-flow water filtration apparatus
US8496740B1 (en) * 2011-07-26 2013-07-30 Will D. Ball, IV Apparatus for separating oil well products
US9873067B1 (en) 2013-11-26 2018-01-23 Kbk Industries, Llc Desanding, flow splitting, degassing vessel
US9744478B1 (en) 2014-07-22 2017-08-29 Kbk Industries, Llc Hydrodynamic water-oil separation breakthrough
US10035082B2 (en) 2014-07-22 2018-07-31 Kbk Industries, Llc Hydrodynamic water-oil separation breakthrough
US9884774B1 (en) 2015-02-04 2018-02-06 Kbk Industries, Llc Highly retentive automatically skimmable tank

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