Heavy crude oils continue to be a challenge to dehydrate for the Oil & Gas Industry.

The traditional remedy to the reduced oil / water density difference, higher crude oil viscosity and often smaller water droplets due to heavy crude oil production techniques, often leads to high operating temperatures, fouling, production upsets, very large treaters and dosage of large volumes of demulsifier chemicals. This leads to both higher OPEX as well as higher CAPEX.

Other challenges include higher crude oil conductivity and increased crude oil emulsion viscosity due to higher water cuts. Typically crude oil dehydration vessels use heat, retention time and AC type electrostatic dehydration technology. The AC technology provides limited voltage gradients and is not efficient for treating conductive crude oils, leading to the use of very large vessels and power units, and the use of lower voltage gradients.

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