SVID: Separator Inlet Device for Low Pressure Moderate GOR Service

Table of Contents

Type / Description

Self-Venting Inlet Device (SVID)

Development of novel inlet device for horizontal 3-phase separators to provide efficient separation under challenging working conditions typical of mature and/or unconventional oil fields


  • Make the device fit for service under challenging conditions such as:
    • Fluctuating flow rates
    • Frequent slugs
    • Low operating pressures
    • GOR up to 100 sm3 /sm3
    • Stratified or wavy inlet pipe flow patterns
  • Provide sound momentum dissipation and mechanical resistance to cope with frequent slugging regime
  • Achieve good bulk gas/liquid separation with minimum disturbances in the separator inlet section
  • Gently direct the separated gas to the gas section and the separated liquids below the O/W interface band zone in liquid section, minimizing perturbances in effective separation length

Project Development

  • Designing of several prototypes to analyze construction constraints
  • CFD modeling of the selected alternatives, including the inlet pipe configuration and normalization length
  • CFD studies to analyze and minimize distortions caused by liquid slugs
  • CFD studies to optimize calming baffles after the inlet device
  • Fluid-structure modeling to determine the maximum stress the inlet device is subjected to
  • Development of the mechanical design with appropriate safety features to deal with slugs


  • The SVID was successfully applied in several three-phase separators for heavy conventional and light unconventional crude oils
  • Gross flow rates ranged between 20,000 and 70,000 BPD with a GOR within the limits of design
  • Less than 2% free water cut in outlet oil stream even with significant inlet flow fluctuation and inlet water cuts between 30 – 90%

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