It is known that gas hydrates remove the light ends from reservoir fluids. Therefore, controlled hydrate formation in reservoir fluids could be an attractive option for separating oil and gas; that is, to replace conventional production facilities. In this communication we present the results of an integrated experimental and modelling study on the feasibility of the process, and the impact of the various parameters on the rate of hydrate formation. The study investigated the impact of parameters, such as mixing, water history, temperature, pressure, volume of reactor, heat removal requirements, and the quality of separated liquid. The work identified the major parameters and some of the technological requirements. Based on the experimental data, a simplified mass transfer model was constructed to simulate the kinetics of the separation process and to calculate the reactor volume and heat requirements at a specified degree of conversion. The results showed that it is possible to remove most of the lights from the liquid hydrocarbon phase by hydrate formation. The resulting liquid phase could be suitable for pipeline export or tanker loading after some treatment. Associated gas could be recovered locally from the hydrate phase. Alternatively, in cases where there is no infrastructure for transporting this gas, it might be exported as a hydrate slurry, as proposed by Gudmundsson and coworkers.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|