Sulzer licensed to deploy Wash Tank process on floaters worldwide

Sulzer’s Chemtech division has secured a license for Total’s patented Wash Tank technology for oil processing.

Offshore staff

WINTERTHUR, Switzerland – Sulzer’s Chemtech division has secured a license for Total’s patented Wash Tank technology for oil processing.

This is designed to assist removal of water, salt, and contaminants from oil and emulsions via a controlled distribution of the feed into the bottom of a hull tank of anFPSO, FSO, or FPU.

The process transforms the water-in-oil dispersion into an oil-in-water one under which high efficiency phase separation is said to take place more easily. Another claimed benefit is significant simplification of the topsides crude oil process.

Sulzer will commercialize the licensed process along with its static mixing technology and patented oil/water emulsion distributors which evenly distribute the feed across the full cross section of the hull tank, generating a constant droplet size (for a given flow) to maximize the system performance.

The company adds that its testing capabilities and computational flow dynamics services will feature in solutions for each targeted offshore facility.

Benefits can be maximized by an early concept selection of this technology, and are said to include:

  • Reduced topsides weight, capex and complexity, with a reduced number of separators and the elimination of electrostatic coalescers (dehydrators and desalters) and associated heat exchangers
  • More flexibility in terms of flow rate variations and potential future capacity increases, and mitigation of risks associated with naphthenate formation (emulsion stabilization, deposits accumulation)
  • Improved energy efficiency and lower opex through reduced utility consumptions (heating, cooling and electrical loads)
  • Improved safety through a more aerated layout of the FPSO topsides.

The technology has been in operation for years on Total’s Usan, Pazflor, and CLOV FPSOs, and on its more recent Moho Nord platform and the associated Likouf FPU.

Ongoing projects – the Martin Linge FSO and the Egina FPSO – will also feature this technology.

Sulzer’s license agreement means the technology can now be deployed on other oil field FPSOs globally.


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