Heater Treaters, an essential piece of equipment in the production process, break up wellstream emulsions, separating the crude oil from water and other foreign materials. Gas is liberated prior to the filtering and settling sections, allowing liquid and sediment separation without the agitation of gas breaking out of the liquid.

Vertical Heater Treater

The most commonly used single-well treater is the Vertical Heater Treater. It consists of three major sections: gas separation, FWKO, and heating section. Flow enters the top of the treater into a gas separation section, oil and water travel down through the downcomer to the heated section where the heat breaks the emulsion which results into forming larger droplets until they start settling downward to the water section. At that point clean oil at the top of the heated section spills over and out of the vessel and water is removed through an external adjustable water leg controlled by a head pressure operated dump valve.

Horizontal Heater Treater

A horizontal treater can handle large amounts of emulsion by utilizing a long ā€œUā€ shaped firetube. This firetube has greater heating capacity, thereby allowing a higher treating rate. The large horizontal interface area in the settling section allows for more efficient separation of emulsion and gas release. Horizontal treaters must operate under pressure to boost oil to storage tanks.

heater treater


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