Challenges in Modelling and Control of Offshore De-oiling Hydrocyclone Systems

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Offshore de-oiling installations are facing an increasing challenge with regards to removing oil residuals from produced water prior to discharge into the ocean. The de-oiling of produced water is initially achieved in the primary separation processes using gravity-based multi-phase separators, which can effectively handle large amounts of oil-well fluids but may struggle with the efficient separation of small dispersed oil particles. Thereby hydrocyclone systems are commonly employed in the downstream Produced Water Treatment (PWT) process for further reducing the oil concentration in the produced water before it can be discharged into the ocean. The popularity of hydrocyclone technology in the offshore oil and gas industry is mainly due to its rugged design and low maintenance requirements. However, to operate and control this type of system in an efficient way is far less simple, and alternatively this task imposes a number of key control challenges. Specifically, there is much research to be performed in the direction of dynamic modelling and control of de-oiling hydrocyclone systems. The current solutions rely heavily on empirical trial-and-error approaches. This paper gives a brief review of current hydrocyclone control solutions and the remaining challenges and includes some of our recent work in this topic and ends with a motivation for future work.
Original languageEnglish
Book seriesJournal of Physics: Conference Series (Online)
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event13th European Workshop on Advanced Control & Diagnosis - Lille, Lille, France
Duration: 17 Nov 201618 Nov 2016


Conference13th European Workshop on Advanced Control & Diagnosis


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