Development of free water knock-out tank by using internal heat exchanger for heavy crude oil

Keywords: dewatering, crude oil, heat exchanger, oil well, water knock-out


Reactivation of an old oil well can be explicitly calculated to maximize crude oil production. The biggest challenge with the activation process is the crude oil content in old wells, which is not feasible to meet the specified minimum standards. In the case of the Bunian oil field, Indonesia, the crude oil produced has high water content. It causes a decrease in the quality of production and also hinders production capacity. The production scheme applied to the Bunian field has a storage tank that functions to reduce water content using the gravity method, but this is less effective. Let’s modify the storage tank into a heat exchanger tank through the engineering design process and labeled it as a free water knockout tank (FWKO). The FWKO is made of a multi-pass tube heat exchanger. The experiments are conducted through three phases’ tests before deciding the final design. From the test, the change in water content is varied with temperature differences of the working fluid and crude oil. The lowest water content is obtained at 0.5 % at final tests. After analyzing the characteristic of each test result, the final design is taken by adjusting the suitable working fluid temperature and pressure. Finally, by using suitable parameters, the average water content of crude oil is decreased up to the minimum requirement (<0.1 %). The design of FWKO is considered simple with an excellent performance and can adapted easily. The FWKO able to process crude oil with water content <20 %, where it suitable for waxy oil well. The working fluid can be processed both in liquid and gas state. Furthermore, the heating source for the working fluid is gained from the gas flare by using thermic heater. Thus, it does not require an extra heating source for the heat exchanger


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Author Biographies

Ismail Ismail, Universitas Pancasila

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Ambar Tri Mulyanto, Universitas Pancasila

Department of Master in Mechanical Engineering

Reza Abdu Rahman, Universitas Pancasila

Department of Mechanical Engineering


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How to Cite
Ismail, I., Mulyanto, A. T., & Rahman, R. A. (2022). Development of free water knock-out tank by using internal heat exchanger for heavy crude oil. EUREKA: Physics and Engineering, (4), 77-85.