Modelling the distribution of mercury in oil and gas processing facilities

  • Manssor A M Khalifa

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Mercury is not only considered a toxic pollutant in the environment but also a corrosive element in processing equipment. The presence of mercury in oil and gas can increase the exposure risk to field operators and can cause serious corrosion problems. Furthermore,it may cause catalyst poisoning and deactivation; these could lead to long,unplanned shutdowns which are neither operationally nor financially desirable as they negatively impacts the equipment life and profit. Therefore, producing oil and gas from reservoirs that contain mercury is a challenging task. This work is concerned with the thermodynamic modelling of mercury distribution in oil and gas process facilities. The main objectives of this research are to investigate the distribution of mercury in oil and gas process facilities in order to eliminate mercury impact and unplanned shutdowns.In addition it aims to identify the best location of mercury removal units in an effort to alleviate mercury exposure risks and damage . This work allows the prediction of the thermodynamic behavior of elemental mercury in a wide variety of solvents, hydrocarbon mixtures, and operating conditions where experimental data are unavailable.This was successfully achieved by using two approaches; introducing binary interaction parameters between mercury and other molecules, and modelling mercury atoms as an associating atoms. The effectiveness of the developed models is validated against experimental data.It has been observed that the process operating conditions play an important role in mercury distribution in various phases. Reducing the operating pressure and increasing operating temperature allows more heavy hydrocarbons to flash out carrying over more mercury to the gas stream. This increases the possibility of mercury accumulation in the gas processing units. The presence of heavy hydrocarbons in the produced water streams increases the solubility of elemental mercury in these streams. This negatively impacbio sphere due to mercury pollution.
Date of Award1 Oct 2017
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorLeo Lue (Supervisor) & Karen Johnston (Supervisor)

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