Mirmorax now has the most robust Oil in Water analyzer on the market across all types of applications.
Road to robustness
Whereas our Oil in water analyzers can be best described by evolution in technology our clients describe it as a revolution in results. So, why is that? Well, it starts and ends with making ourselves unaffected by the variables that the industry in general uses as excuses for not delivering results.
In 2010 Mirmorax started a journey through unknown territory with one single, ambitious goal set as the only known beacon: To create THE Oil in Water analyzer in the market, preferred across a variety of applications and by the vast majority of the market. At the time we had a technology that was developed to deliver accurate results under very stable condition and within a limited measurement range.
In contrast, our customers wanted to use the analyzers in more areas and different applications than before. This included a less stable environment, wider measurement range, changing process conditions, various chemicals and last but not least, measuring multiple oil types in the produced water.
From measuring discharge to enabling reduction
Through firstly a detailed technical analysis followed by a good soul searching exercise, we found that the path to making the most accurate Oil in Water analyzer on the market was less about measuring oil concentration more accurately and more about making sure we were unaffected by other factors. We already had the most accurate Oil in Water analyzer on the market for condensate applications and for low concentrations, we just needed to overcome the challenges other applications had.
We identified 5 challenges that we needed to overcome to get there:
- Measurement range increase from 0-1000 to 0-25 000 ppm
- Response time from measurement to data output from 15-30 min to 2 seconds
- Automatic compensation for changes in temperature, salinity and density
- Correct particle size measurements for high concentrations
- Automatic cleaning of the transducer
We managed to develop the expanded concentration range and the response and had several successful tests using this software. The way we did verification measurements also now enabled us to actually measure temperature, salinity and density of the water. And when we had these measurements, we could apply these to our models and maintain a stable concentration measurement regardless of changes in these three properties. Worth mentioning here was that chemicals such as MEG, corrosion inhibitors and other chemicals is only observed as a change in density of the water and therefore does not change oil concentration measurements.
Automatic cleaning – maintenance free system
Also, Mirmorax new automatic cleaning mechanism that ensures that the system can measure continuously across the whole measurement range and without any interruption in measurements. It is the only system that can provide uninterrupted measurement and clean sensor up to 400 bar operational pressure.
With these new features, an industrial software version was implemented offshore as a side-measurement and has proven to be a success. At a more challenging test, we found that an improvement needed to be made to get correct particle size at higher concentrations. What we had gained in faster response time, we had lost in particle size accuracy for the higher concentrations.
Accurate readings regardless of particle size or API grade or the mix of them
By applying additional theoretical models that was developed in-house, we found a unique way to determine particle size, regardless of what concentration of oil that was in the water. This didn’t only solve the problem with reading correct concentrations and particle sizes, but also opened up a series of new opportunities. This testing, the iterative improvement and verification process was done closely with one of Mirmorax key customers who had very specific requirements on both ranges and accuracy.
As Mirmorax uses acoustics, the dominant property relevant for the acoustic response is the density of the oil. The density and corresponding viscosity of the oil will determine what particle size an oil concentration will have in a given part of the separation system. So, given that there are two different oil types with individual density in the same produced water, they will have different particle sizes.
For other measurement principles, such as fluorescence this represents a big problem since the ppm measurements is not a direct measurement, but a measurement of the aromatic oils, the dissolved oil and not the actual oil droplets. The aromatic response, fluorescence, is basically the surface area of the accumulated droplets as well as the density of the oil. So, if you have 4 particles, 1 with heavy oil and 3 with condensate they will measure about 150% wrong compared to if you had 2 particles with heavy oil and 2 with condensate. These are significant numbers, especially considering these numbers may be a bottleneck for production rates.
Lab proven – Field proven – Relevant
Mirmorax Oil in Water analyzer has been thorough testing with mixes of heavy oil and condensate now for about 18 months onshore and offshore.
The results can only be described as fantastic, and with the full range with variety of oil types and percentage of each oil, we are within +/-15% relative. The key for maintaining the accuracy is the measurement principle being insensitive to oil density changes and the accurate particle size measurement regardless of concentration. This means that Mirmorax can handle an unlimited number of different oil types and changing fractions of these in the same produced water stream.
This is in particular important in a market where production from various fields is done through tie-backs and share topside processing facilities, often build for one oil and having to separate a mix of several. On top of this, regulations and environmental awareness is higher than ever and as brown fields are producing more and more water, managing produced water becomes key for utilizing the existing capacity.
Produced water – bottleneck reduced
Mirmorax Oil in water analyzers are due to its measurement robustness an excellent and cost effective choice when trying to get more out of the existing processing capacity. By installing Mirmorax OiW, not only at the discharge for final verification, but further upstream, the operators has the opportunity to get capacity out of their produced water separation system. Based on case studies done by our clients, we have seen increases in an existing separation systems of more than 35% without other modifications than installing Mirmorax OiW to optimize each separation process. Mirmorax today has the expertise to deliver enabling technology from 1 stage separator to discharge and will be a knowledgeable partner.
~ Tie in fields – Mixes of oil – Produced water Challenges – Solution Delivered ~