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Publication numberUS3634998 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 18, 1972
Filing dateDec 29, 1969
Priority dateDec 29, 1969
Publication numberUS 3634998 A, US 3634998A, US-A-3634998, US3634998 A, US3634998A
InventorsEdwin B Patterson
Original AssigneeEdwin B Patterson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Methods of producing a plurality of well streams
US 3634998 A
Abstract
The present invention relates to methods of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams from wells at different locations which are conducted by a gathering system to a central processing location. By the present invention, liquid desiccant is continuously intimately mixed with the well streams at each well location so that portions of the water contained therein are removed thereby preventing the subsequent formation of hydrates. The well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures are conducted by the gathering system to the central location and combined. The combined liquid desiccant is separated from the combined well streams at the central location and regenerated by removing the absorbed water therefrom. Portions of the regenerated liquid desiccant are then returned to each of the well locations for remixing with the well streams.
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Patterson METHODS OF PRODUCING A PLURAILEITY 0F WELL SEAMS [72] Inventor: Edwin 13. Patterson, 8517 Arlington Drive,

Oklahoma City, Okla. 73132 [22] Filed: Dec. 29, 1969 [21] Appl. No.: 888,496

[51] Int. Cl ..B0ld 53/14 [58] Field ofSearch ..55/32, 33, 171-177; 166/267 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,495,380 2/1970 Reman et a1 ..55/32 3,206,916 9/1965 Glasgow et a]. .....55/32 3,001,604 9/1961 Worley ..55/32 3,347,019 10/1967 Barnhart ..55/32 2,773,556 12/1956 Meyers et a]. ..55/175 Jan. 18, 1972 Attorney-Dunlap, Laney, Hessin & Dougherty AlBSCT The present invention relates to methods of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams from wells at different locations which are conducted by a gathering system to a central processing location. By the present invention, liquid desiccant is continuously intimately mixed with the well streams at each well location so that portions of the water contained therein are removed thereby preventing the subsequent formation of hydrates. The well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures are conducted by the gathering system to the central location and combined. The combined liquid desiccant is separated from the combined well streams at the central location and regenerated by removing the absorbed water therefrom. Portions of the regenerated liquid desiccant are then returned to each of the well locations for remixing with the well streams,

9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates generally to methods of producing a plurality of well streams, and more particularly, but not by way of limitation, to methods of producing a plurality of well streams wherein liquid desiccant is continuously intimately mixed with the well streams to prevent the subsequent formation of hydrates.

2. Description of the Prior Art Many methods and systems have been developed and used for producing predominantly gaseous well streams. Commonly, such well streams are produced from wells at different locations and are conducted to a central location where they are combined and processed. For example, the combined well streams may be processed in a natural gasoline plant for the removal of lighter fractions contained therein, such as propane, butane and the like. Also, the well streams from wells in a particular area may be conducted to a central point where they are combined and processed to remove water and other undesirable components such as hydrogen sulfide, and then pumped to a point of further processing or use.

Well streams produced from underground well formations commonly contain hydrocarbon gases, water vapor, hydrocarbon liquids and liquid water. In order to produce such wells, it has been found necessary to remove water vapor from the well stream at the well location. The reason for this is that hydrocarbon or natural gases containing water vapor form solid hydrates at relatively high temperatures. These hydrates readily plug-off pipelines or processing equipment through which the well stream is being conducted preventing the effective production of the well stream or causing damage to equip ment.

In the case of predominantly gaseous well streams, the liquids contained in the well streams are commonly removed at the well location and the remaining well stream processed to prevent the formation of hydrates. Heretofore, such processing has been accomplished in a variety of ways. For example, when a well stream must be delivered to a pipeline at or near the flowing pressure of the well, a conventional liquid separator ahead of a conventional liquid desiccant dehydration system has commonly been employed at the well location. Such conventional liquid desiccant dehydration systems include a vapor-liquid contactor vessel wherein a liquid desiccant is brought into intimate contact with the well stream thereby dehydrating it. The water rich liquid desiccant is regenerated in heating apparatus and recirculated into the contactor vessel.

Where the well stream must be delivered to the pipeline at a pressure below the flowing pressure of the well, it is necessary to reduce the pressure of the well stream at the well location. Such a pressure reduction process brings about a temperature drop in the well stream, and as a result, hydrates readily form. In order to overcome this problem, well stream heating equipment has commonly been used. Specifically, well stream heaters have been installed between the well and the pressure reduction means in order to elevate the well stream temperature so that the resulting temperature of the well stream downstream of the pressure reduction means is high enough to prevent the formation of hydrates. Another commonly used technique has been to install a well stream heater immediately downstream of the pressure reduction means so that any hydrates formed will be melted immediately. Heretofore, even where a well stream heater is used to elevate the temperature of the well stream or to melt hydrates that form, it has been necessary to install a conventional separator downstream of the heater to remove liquids from the well stream, and in climates where relatively cold atmospheric temperatures are reached, it has been necessary to employ a conventional liquid desiccant dehydration system downstream of the separator to prevent the subsequent formation of hydrates in pipelines and processing equipment. The installation of a conventional gas dehydration system at each well location results in a high investment cost as well as high operating costs due to fuel and maintenance expense.

The present invention provides methods of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams from wells at different locations which are conducted to a central location whereby relatively inexpensive production equipment is installed at each well location.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a method of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams which comprises the steps of separating liquids contained in the well streams at each of the well locations, intimately mixing liquid desiccant with the well streams at each of the well locations so that portions of the water contained in the well streams are absorbed by the liquid desiccant thereby preventing the subsequent formation of hydrates by the well streams, conducting the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures from each of the well locations to a central location, combining the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures at the central location, separating the combined liquid desiccant from the combined well streams at the central location, regenerating the combined liquid desiccant at the central location by removing the absorbed water therefrom, and returning portions of the regenerated liquid desiccant to each of the well locations for remixing with the well streams.

It is, therefore, a general object of the present invention to provide methods of producing a plurality of well streams.

A further object of the present invention is the provision of methods of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams wherein a minimum of production equipment is required at individual well locations.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide methods of producing a plurality of predominately gaseous well streams wherein the production equipment required at each well location is inexpensive and simple to operate.

Still a further object of the present invention is the provision of methods of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams wherein the subsequent formation of hydrates by the well streams is prevented and the well streams are partially dehydrated.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of methods of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams wherein water and hydrogen sulfide contained in the well streams may be at least partially removed as the well streams are being produced.

Other and further objects, features and advantages will be apparent from the following detailed description of presently preferred embodiments of the invention, given for the purpose of disclosure and taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS predominantly gaseous well stream connected to a gathering system,

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view of yet another system for carrying out the method of the present invention for producing a predominately gaseous well stream connected to a gathering system,

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view of a plurality of wells connected by a gathering system to a central processing location; and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged side elevational view, partially in section, of a portion of the system illustrated in FIGS. 1 through DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The present invention relates to the production ofa plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams from wells at different locations, which are conducted to a central location. Predominantly gaseous well streams from wells located in a particular field or area are commonly transported by a network of underground pipelines (generally referred to as a gathering system) to a central point where they are combined and the gaseous portions thereof processed.

The gas processing carried out at the central location varies considerably depending upon many factors. For example, if the field or area wherein the wells are located is near a market for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), such as propane, butane and the like, the gases may be processed in a plant of a type commonly known as a natural gasoline plant whereby the heavier components of the gas are removed and liquefied. If the field is located in a remote area, the gas may simply be pumped through a pipeline to another location. In any case, however, it is generally always necessary to separate free liquids from the well streams and to dehydrate the gaseous portion of the well streams at the central location. The free liquids must be separated from the gaseous portion of the well streams since they cannot be processed simultaneously with the gas. Generally, the free liquids are separated and stored at the individual well locations and periodically transported to a nearby refinery or other market by truck or separate pipeline. However, separation facilities are also required at the central location to remove liquids that condense in the gathering system, The gaseous portions of the well streams must be dehydrated to prevent the formation of hydrates in processing equipment and to meet purchaser specifications.

Individual wells, even where they are located in the same field and producing formation, present different production problems. For example, one well may produce a well stream at a high flowing pressure while others produce well streams at low flowing pressures. Also, in any gathering system, the pressure required to cause a particular well stream to flow through the system depends on the distance of the well from the end of the gathering system. That is, since the well streams are combined at the end of the gathering system at a particular pressure, the further away a particular well is located, the greater pressure differential required to cause the well stream to flow through the gathering system. Thus, the flowing pressure of some well streams connected to the gathering system may have to be reduced at the well location while the flowing pressure of others may have to be increased. Generally, however, the gathering system is operated at a low enough pressure level to allow all of the wells connected thereto to be produced at a pressure equal to or less than the flowing pressures thereof.

The systems shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 of the drawings illustrate apparatus required according to the present invention at individual well locations depending upon the flowing pressure of the particular well stream involved.

Referring particularly to FIG. 1, a system for carrying out the method of the present invention for producing one of a plurality of wells connected to a gathering system where the flowing pressure of the well stream is generally equal to the gathering system pressure is illustrated. A conventional liquid separator vessel I2 is connected to the well by a conduit 14. The well l0 includes a conventional shut-off valve (not shown) mounted thereon. The separator 12 includes conventional controls for continuously discharging separated liquid therefrom into a conduit 16. The gaseous portion of the well stream passes through the separator 12 into a conduit 18. A gas metering assembly 20, which may be a conventional orifice meter assembly, is disposed in the conduit 18 for metering the volume of gas passing therethrough. As will be understood, a gas meter is normally installed at each well so that the volume of gas produced into the gathering system by the well may be determined. A vapor-liquid mixing vessel 22, which will be described in detail hereinbelow, is connected to the conduit 18. A conduit 24, which is connected to the gathering system (not shown), is connected to the vaporliquid mixing vessel 22. A tank or container 26 is connected to the suction of a conventional pump 28 by a suction conduit 30. The discharge of the pump 28 is connected to the vapor liquid mixing vessel 22 by a discharge conduit 32. The conduit 16 is connected to the conduit 24 downstream of the vaporliquid mixing vessel 22. A conventional liquid meter 34 is disposed in the conduit 16.

In operation of the system illustrated in FIG. 1, the well stream is conducted from the well at it's flowing pressure into the separator vessel 12. While within the separator vessel 12, liquids contained in the well stream are separated and removed through the conduit 16. The remaining gaseous portion of the well stream passes into conduit 18 through the meter assembly 20 and into the vapor-liquid mixing vessel 22. A reservoir ofliquid desiccant is contained within the tank 26, and a continuous quantity of liquid desiccant passes from the tank 26 into the pump 28 and through the conduit 30. The pump 28 may be any pump which will continuously pump a desired quantity of liquid desiccant into the vapor-liquid mixing chamber 22. A conventional gas powered pump may be used for this purpose. As the well stream passes through the mixing vessel 22, it is intimately mixed with the liquid desiccant injected therein. The well stream-liquid desiccant mixture then passes out of the vessel 22, into the conduit 24 and into the gathering system. The gathering system conducts the well stream-liquid desiccant mixture to a central processing location. The liquids passing into the conduit 16 from the separation vessel 12 pass into conduit 24 where they are combined with the well stream-liquid desiccant mixture passing therethrough. If it is desirable to conduct the well stream liquids through the gathering system to the central location, the system illustrated in FIG. 1 may be used and a meter 34 installed in the conduit 16 to meter the volume of liquids produced by the well 10. However, if desirable, the conduits 16 may be connected to one or more storage tanks located at the well location from where the liquids accumulated therein may be transported to a refinery or other market.

Referring to FIG. 2, a system for carrying out the method of the present invention is illustrated for use with a well 40 having a well stream flowing pressure greater than the pressure level of the gathering system. The system of FIG. 2 basically comprises a conduit 42 connected to the well 40. A pressure reducing valve or choke 44 is connected to the conduit 42, and a conventional well stream heater 46 is connected to the choke 44 immediately downstream thereof. A conduit 48 connects the heater 46 to a conventional vapor-liquid separator vessel 50. The gaseous portion of the well stream leaving the separator vessel 50 passes into a conduit 52 which may have a conventional gas metering assembly 54 disposed therein. The conduit 52 is connected to a vapor-liquid mixing vessel 56 which is in turn connected to a conduit 58. The conduit 58 is connected to the gathering system (not shown). The liquids separated in the separator vessel 50 pass into the conduit 60 which is connected to the conduit 58 downstream of the vapor-liquid mixing vessel 56. A liquid meter 62 may be disposed in the conduit 60 for measuring the volume of the liquids passing therethrough. A tank 64 containing a reservoir of liquid desiccant is connected to a pump 66 by a suction conduit 68, and the discharge of the pump 66 is connected to the vapor-liquid mixing vessel 56 by a discharge conduit 70.

In operation of the system illustrated in FIG. 2, the well stream produced by the well 40 passes through the conduit 42 through the choke 44. The choke 44 is adjusted to reduce the pressure of the well stream passing therethrough to a level sufficient to cause a desired volume of the well stream to pass into the gathering system. The pressure reduction of the well stream across the choke 44 brings about a cooling of the well stream, and as a result, hydrates are formed. The cooled well stream and hydrates enter the well stream heater 46 wherein heat is transferred to the well stream, heating it enough to melt the hydrates. The well stream then passes from the heater 46 into the conduit 48 and into the separator vessel 50. Liquids contained in the well stream are separated in the separator vessel 50 and discharged into the conduit 60. The gaseous portion of the well stream passes into the conduit 52, through the gas metering assembly 54 and into the vapor-liquid mixing vessel 56. A continuous stream of liquid desiccant is injected into the vapor-liquid mixing vessel 56 by the pump 66 which takes suction from the reservoir of liquid contained in the tank 64. The liquid desiccant is discharged through the discharge conduit 70 into the vapor-liquid mixing vessel 56. The well stream-liquid desiccant mixture leaves the mixing vessel 56 through conduit 58. The conduit 58 is attached to the gathering system, and the liquids separated in the separator vessel 50 pass through the conduit 60, through the meter 62 and into the conduit 58 where they mix with the well stream-liquid desiccant mixture passing therethrough. However, if desirable, the conduit 60 may lead the liquids separated in the separator vessel 52 to storage facilities located at the well location.

Referring to FIG. 3, an alternate system for carrying out the method of the present invention for use with a well having a well stream flowing pressure greater than the gathering system pressure is illustrated. The well 80 is connected to a conduit 82. The conduit 82 is in turn connected to a vapor-liquid chamber 84, wherein the well stream is mixed with liquid desiccant. The liquid desiccant is injected into the vessel 84 by a pump 86 which pumps liquid desiccant from a reservoir thereof contained in a tank 88 through a suction conduit 90 and through a discharge conduit 92. The resulting well streamliquid desiccant mixture formed in the vessel 84 passes into a conduit 94 which is connected to a choke 96. From the choke 96 the well stream passes through a conduit 98 into a conventional three-phase separator vessel 100 wherein the liquids contained in the well stream and the liquid desiccant mixed therewith are individually separated from the gaseous portion of the well stream. The gaseous portion of the well stream passes out of the separator 100 into a conduit 102 having a gas metering assembly 104 disposed therein. The conduit 104 is connected to the gathering system and the liquid desiccant separated in the separator vessel 100 passes therefrom into a conduit 106. The conduit 106 is connected to the conduit 102 downstream of the gas metering assembly 104. The liquids separated in the separator vessel 100 pass into the conduit 108 having a liquid meter 110 disposed therein. The conduit 108 is connected to the conduit 106.

In operation of the system illustrated in FIG. 3, the well stream from the well 80 flows through conduit 82 into the mixing vessel 84 where it is mixed with a continuous stream of liquid desiccant. The stream of liquid desiccant is pumped from a reservoir thereof contained in the tank 88 by the pump 86. The well stream-liquid desiccant mixture formed in the vessel 84 passes into the conduit 94 and through the choke 96 wherein the pressure of the well stream mixture is reduced. Because liquid desiccant has been intimately mixed with the well stream, and a portion of the water contained therein absorbed in the liquid desiccant, hydrates are not formed by the well stream. The well stream then passes into conduit 98 into the separator vessel 100. The gaseous portion of the well stream from the separator vessel 100 passes through the conduit 102, through the gas metering assembly 104 and into the gathering system. The liquid desiccant separated in the separator vessel I00 passes through the conduit 16 into the conduit 104 where it remixes with the gaseous portion of the well stream. If it is desirable to remix the liquids contained in the well stream with the gaseous portion of the well stream so that they will be conducted through the gathering system to the central location, the conduit 108 is connected to the conduit 106. The meter 110 disposed in the conduit 108 meters the volume of fluids passing therethrough. However, if desirable, the conduit may lead the fluid separated in the separator vessel 100 to storage facilities at the well location.

Referring to FIG. 5, a preferred vapor-liquid mixing vessel, generally designated by the numeral 120, for use according to the present invention is illustrated. The vessel I basically comprises an elongated horizontal container 122 having an inlet connection 124 at the forward end thereof and an outlet connection 126 at the rearward end thereof. A plurality of spray nozzles 128, which may be any suitable conventional spray nozzles are disposed within the forward end of the container 122. The spray nozzles 128 are connected in a conventional manner by a piping assembly 130, which is in turn connected to a liquid desiccant pump 131. The liquid desiccant pump is connected to a tank 133 by a conduit 135, and as illustrated in FIG. 5, the tank 133, pump I31 and conduit 135 may be mounted on a skid for convenience. It should be noted that the tank 133 may be of a size sufiicient to contain a relatively large volume of liquid desiccant as compared to the volume rate thereof injected into the mixing vessel so that additional liquid desiccant need not be added to the tank 133 for relatively long periods of time.

A plurality of vertical baffles 132 are disposed within the vessel 122. The baffles 132 are arranged in a conventional manner for causing fluids passing therethrough to follow a tortuous path. The vessel 120 may also contain a conventional packing media, such a berl saddles, for bringing about intimate contact between vapor and liquid passing through the vessel 120. In operation of the vapor-liquid mixing vessel 120, the well stream enters the vessel 120 through the forward connection 124 thereof. A continuous stream of liquid desiccant is pumped by the pump 13] through the piping assembly 130, through the spray nozzles 128 and into the vessel 120. As the liquid desiccant and well stream pass through the vessel 120, they are intimately mixed and the vapor portion of the well stream is intimately contacted by the liquid desiccant. This intimate contact brings about the absorption of a major portion of water contained in the well stream by the liquid desiccant. The well stream-liquid desiccant mixture then passes out of the vessel 120 through the outlet connection 126 thereof.

It has been found that relatively high quantities of water may be removed from well streams passing through the vaporliquid mixing vessel 120 with relatively small quantities of liquid desiccant. For example, well stream dew point depressions as high as 50 F. may be obtained by mixing a 70 percent by weight aqueous ethylene glycol solution with the well stream at a rate of approximately 0.2 gallons per million standard cubic feet (MMSCF) of the well stream. As will be understood, the particular type and quantity of liquid desiccant mixed with a particular well stream will depend on a variety of factors such as the flowing conditions of the well stream, the desired amount of water to be removed from the well stream, etc. However, it has been found that the formation of hydrates may generally be prevented by mixing a liquid desiccant, such as an aqueous solution of ethylene or diethylene glycol at a concentration of from 65 percent to 75 percent glycol by weight, with a well stream at the rate of from about 0.15 to about 0.20 gallons of liquid desiccant per MMSCF of the well stream.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a plurality of wells 130 connected to a central processing facility 132 by a gathering system 134 is illustrated in diagrammatic form. It will be understood that one of the systems illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 3, is installed at each of the well 130 locations, through which the well stream from each of the wells 130 is produced prior to entering the gathering system 134. The gathering system 134 comprises a plurality of underground pipelines connected together so that the well streams from the wells 130 are combined and conducted to the central processing location 132. At the central processing location 132 the combined well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures from the wells 130 enter an inlet separator 136. The inlet separator 136 may be any conventional threephase separator which functions to individually separate the combined well stream liquids and liquid desiccant from the combined gaseous portion of the well streams. The gaseous portion of the well streams passes from the inlet separator to a gas processing facility 138. From the gas processing facility I38, the gas may be conducted to sales or to a point of further processing. Well stream liquids separated in the inlet separator 136 are conducted to liquid storage facilities 140 from where they may be transported to a point of further processing. The combined liquid dessicant separated in the inlet separator 136 is conducted to a conventional liquid desiccant regeneration system 142, wherein the liquid desiccant is regenerated by removing absorbed water therefrom. As will be understood by those skilled in the art, the gas processing facilities 138 will generally always include a conventional dehydration system for dehydrating the combined gaseous portion of the well streams. If this dehydration facility is of the liquid desiccant type, the regeneration facilities related thereto may be used to regenerate the liquid desiccant separated in the inlet separator 136. It should be noted that liquid desiccants such as ethylene or diethylene glycol are generally regenerated to a relatively high purity for use in conventional dehydration systems. For example, diethylene glycol is commonly regenerated to a purity of from about 90 percent by weight to about 95 percent by weight. Since a high purity aqueous glycol solution will freeze at elevated temperatures, water may be added thereto to adjust the glycol solution to a purity of approximately 70 percent by weight. A 70 percent by weight glycol solution will not freeze at normal atmospheric temperatures and may be stored at the well locations and central location. The liquid desiccant regenerated in the regenerator 142 is stored in storage facilities 144. Portions of the regenerated liquid desiccant stored in the storage facilities 144 may from time to time be transported by truck or other convenient means to the locations of the wells 130 for storage and remixing with the well streams produced from the wells 130.

Thus, methods of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams are provided, which results in considerable cost savings as compared to conventional methods. For example, the system illustrated in FIG. 1 may be substituted for a conventional system which would include a conventional liquid desiccant dehydration system. It has been found by the applicant that the tank 26, pump 28, and associated piping mounted on a skid, and the vapor-liquid mixing vessel 22 are approximately $2,000 to $3,000 less expensive to manufacture and install than a comparable conventional gas dehydration system.

The system illustrated in FIG. 2 may be used in lieu ofa conventional system utilizing a conventional gas dehydration system at a savings in manufacturing and installation cost of from about $2,000 to $3,000.

The system illustrated in FIG. 3 may be used in lieu ofa conventional system which would include a well stream heater, a well stream separator and a conventional gas dehydration system resulting in a manufacturing and installation cost savings of from approximately $8,000 to $10,000.

The systems required for carrying out the present invention are also less expensive to operate and maintain as compared to heretofore used systems since liquid desiccant regeneration facilities are not required at each well location bringing about less fuel consumption and maintenance expense at each well location.

As will be understood by those skilled in the art, other chemicals for removing undesirable components contained in the well stream may be injected into the mixing vessel simultaneously with the liquid desiccant. For example, an aqueous monoethanolamine solution may be mixed with a well stream containing hydrogen sulfide simultaneously with an aqueous glycol solution. The amine solution will absorb a major por tion of the hydrogen sulfide and the glycol solution will absorb a major portion of the water contained in the well stream. The amine and glycol solutions may be separated and regenerated at the central processing location in a conventional manner, and then returned to the well locations.

The present invention, therefore, is well adapted to carry out the objects and attain the ends and advantages mentioned, as well as those inherent therein, while presently preferred embodiments of the invention are given for the purpose of disclosure, numerous changes in the details of construction and arrangement of parts can be made which will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art and which are encompassed within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appendant claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A method of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams which comprises the steps of:

separating liquids contained in the well streams at each of the well locations;

metering the separated well streams at each of the well locations;

intimately mixing liquid desiccant with the well streams at each of the well locations so that portions of the water contained in the well streams are absorbed by the liquid desiccant thereby preventing the subsequent fonnation of hydrates by the well streams;

metering the separated liquids at each of the well locations;

combining the separated liquids with said well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures at each of the well locations; conducting the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures from each of the well locations to a central location;

combining the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures at the central location;

separating the combined liquid desiccant from the combined well streams at the central location;

regenerating the combined liquid desiccant at the central location by removing the absorbable water therefrom; and

returning portions of the regenerated liquid desiccant to each of the well locations for remixing with said well streams.

2. A method of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams which comprises the steps of:

reducing the pressure of the well streams at each of the well locations;

heating the well streams at each of the well locations to melt hydrates formed by the well streams as a result of reducing the pressures thereof;

separating liquids from the well streams at each of the well locations;

intimately mixing liquid desiccant with the well streams at each of the well locations so that portions of the water contained in the well streams are absorbed by the liquid desiccant thereby preventing the subsequent formation of hydrates by the well streams;

conducting the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures from each of the well locations to a central location;

combining the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures at the central location;

separating the combined liquid desiccant from the combined well streams at the central location; regenerating the combined liquid desiccant at the central location by removing the absorbed water therefrom; and

returning portions of the regenerated liquid desiccant to each of the well locations for mixing with said well streams.

3. The method of claim 2 which is further characterized to include the step of metering the separated well streams at each of the well locations.

4. The method of claim 3 which is further characterized to include the step of conducting the separated liquids to storage at each of the well locations.

5. The method of claim 3 which id further characterized to include the steps of:

metering the separated liquids at each of the well locations;

and

combining the separated liquids with said well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures at each of the well stream locations.

6. A method of producing a plurality of predominantly gaseous well streams which comprises the steps of:

intimately mixing the well streams with liquid desiccant at each of the well locations so that portions of the water contained in the well streams are absorbed by the liquid desiccant thereby preventing the subsequent formation of hydrates by the well streams;

reducing the pressures of the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures at each of the well locations;

individually separating liquids and liquid desiccant from the well streams at each of the well locations;

remixing the well streams with the separated liquid desiccant at each of the well locations;

conducting the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures from each of the well locations to a central location;

combining the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures from each of the well locations at the central location;

separating the combined liquid desiccant from the combined well streams at the central location;

regenerating the liquid desiccant at the central location by removing the absorbed water therefrom; and

returning portions of the regenerated liquid desiccant to the well locations for mixing with said well streams.

7. The method of claim 6 which is further characterized to include the step of metering the separated well streams at each of the well locations.

8. The method of claim 7 which is further characterized to include the step of conducting the separated liquids to storage at each of the well locations.

9. The method of claim 7 which is further characterized to include the steps of:

metering the separated liquids at each of the well locations;

and

combining the separated liquids with the well stream-liquid desiccant mixtures at each of the well locations.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3864103 *May 21, 1973Feb 4, 1975Phillips Petroleum CoDehydration of gases
US3902253 *Jan 16, 1974Sep 2, 1975Nippon Musical Instruments MfgLumber drying apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification95/188, 95/231
International ClassificationB01D53/26, C09K8/84
Cooperative ClassificationC09K8/845, B01D53/26
European ClassificationC09K8/84A, B01D53/26