Refinery Plants and the Process of Purifying Crude Oil
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Refinery Plants and the Process of Purifying Crude Oil

As we know, oil obtained underground cannot directly be used for fuel or other purposes. After the geologists, mining engineers and miners have carried out their tasks in oil exploration the production of oil has to be considered. The production department has an enormous responsibility in providing oil for commercial use. LetÂ’s consider a small reservoir of oil which can be easily reached by transport and which has oil that is not difficult to obtain. Oil from this reservoir can be produced profitably. On other hand, a large reservoir of oil, which cannot be reached easily by transport, may need a lot of investment and machinery. The oil from this reservoir would be difficult to obtain and costly.

As we know, oil obtained underground cannot directly be used for fuel or other purposes. After the geologists, mining engineers and miners have carried out their tasks in oil exploration the production of oil has to be considered. The production department has an enormous responsibility in providing oil for commercial use.

Let’s consider a small reservoir of oil which can be easily reached by transport and which has oil that is not difficult to obtain. Oil from this reservoir can be produced profitably. On other hand, a large reservoir of oil, which cannot be reached easily by transport, may need a lot of investment and machinery. The oil from this reservoir would be difficult to obtain and costly.

After the amount of oil has been checked, the discovery well is drilled. If the results from the discovery well are hopeful, some more wells called “out-step wells” are drilled. These are usually a half to one mile apart. The purpose of these wells is to discover how wide the reserves of the reservoir are. If the “out-step wells” indicate that the discovery well has large reserves which can be put to commercial use, then drilling of another well called “the development well” can be started. At the same time new out-step wells are always being drilled to check the width of reserves. Now the results of the drilling are submitted by the exploration department to the production department.

 

Oil Refinery Plant

From this time, it is the production department’s responsibility to deal with the speed of production of crude oil from the development well. The production department also provides facilities for gathering crude oil from the head-wells. Transport is needed to distribute the crude oil to the terminal or directly to the refinery plant. This department must also ensure that the best petroleum engineering techniques are used. Finally, the production department has to maintain and revive well production.

The crude oil goes from the head-well through the flow line to the field tank at the field station. Before the oil can be taken to the terminal or refinery it has to be purified, as the crude oil comes from underground usually mixes with other substances such as gas, water, very soft sand and mud. The non-oil elements have to be separated from the oil. On its way to the field tank, crude oil goes through the gas separator installation. The installation machines work automatically to remove the gas.

 

Oil Well in Texas

The gas is called “wet gas” and in the gas compression plant, a compression and cooling process liquefies crude gasoline from this wet gas. The remaining gas, called “dry gas”, has many uses. It can be used as fuel in the field station or it can be used to revive well production. (Well production can be reviewed by pressure maintenance, re-pressuring, gas drive and gas lift).  Gas which is not needed can be burnt in a tall chimney called a flare. At night-time, a burning flare looks wonderful.

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