CHOPS Field Partial Dewatering and Metering Facility

Table of Contents


  • Heavy Crude Oil
  • Large oilfield between two States
  • CHOPS field
  • High sand production rates
  • High TAN for the crude oil (due to high proportion of naphthenic acids)
  • High water cuts > 80-90%
  • Tough emulsions due to solids and naphthenic acids
  • Low free-water, ~60% of the water was emulsified


  • A large CPF was built to gather, process, measure, and export the production from both states in a single place
  • A claim was presented by the other state demanding production quantification before crossing the border for production allocation and royalty liquidation
  • After extensive negotiations with the claiming state, an agreement that required new metering facilities before crossing the border was reached
  • The new metering facilities would have to minimize error and uncertainty while avoiding duplicating the recently built processing facilities

Project Development

  • It was agreed that a reduction of the water cut below 20% would reduce error in metered oil to acceptable levels using a Coriolis meter plus a water cut transmitter
  • Partial dewatering facility designed to achieve the objective
  • A single-stage separation process was defined to reduce investment and footprint
  • H-HT designed and customized for the application


  • Custom H-HT design surpassed KPI, 1% WC was achieved
  • Special inlet device allowed for easy free-water breakout
  • Eccentric FT design maximized heat transfer into the emulsion phase minimizing water heating, reducing required duty and gas consumption
  • Temperature balance:
    • Emulsion Inlet: ~104°F
    • Produced Water Outlet: ~113°F
    • Treated Oil Outlet: ~149°F
  • Take-Away: sound and innovative solutions were implemented to approach complex problems while minimizing investments

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