The Mud-Gas Separator (MGS) is a critical component in well control for handling gas kicks. It is the primary device for separating liquid-gas mixtures in most well control events. Poor separator designs and inefficient separation of gases from liquids in the MGS have resulted in the loss of lives and equipment and adverse environmental effects. Thus, the safe and efficient separation of gases from gas-cut drilling fluids in the MGS is vital. The design and operational efficiency of the MGS depend on certain key elements in its sizing, such as the vent line length and diameter, vessel internal diameter, hydrostatic head of the mud seal, and the vent line back pressure, amongst others. These design considerations and the industrial standards and regulations governing them are hitherto not fully understood. As a result, there is an associated risk in the operation of the MGS.

This paper aims to comprehensively review and analyze key sizing and design considerations for the Mud Gas Separator for both Conventional and Managed Pressure Drilling Operations. Furthermore, industry standards, best practices, guidelines, and regulations on MGS design and operations are also reviewed.

This study uses two primary methodologies: an extensive literature review and a stakeholder engagement consultation to meet the stipulated objectives. The results indicate that the sizing and design of MGS depend on various factors such as well depth, pressure and temperature regimes, formation fluid, and completion fluid systems. The study's outcomes also indicate that existing industry standards and regulations provide sufficient guidelines for various sizing and design considerations. The study also presents an analysis of existing industry recommendations on MGS design and sizing for special wellbore conditions, formation properties, and unconventional drilling applications like managed pressure drilling (MPD).

The study provides further understanding of the MGS sizing and design from industry stakeholders’ perspective to minimize well-control risks associated with MGS.

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