Last updated on September 26th, 2023 at 11:03 am
The tank heater is predominantly used in the oil and gas industries in places like Louisiana or Mississippi for various purposes. The main heating solution in the industry often stems from the use of immersion heaters in order to heat up natural gas or crude oil. The use of flanged immersion heaters is particularly desirable in offshore drilling for the separation of gas, oil, and water during extraction from the well. There are many uses for offshore drilling heaters such as drilling platform cellar, emergency thawing, pre-warming of equipment and motors, rig floor, work-over rigs, offshore drilling rigs, and many more. Different applications require somewhat different types of heater; however, the main type is flanged immersion heaters. The applications of offshore drilling heaters generally fall into categories such as crude oil heating to maintain viscosity, water heating and steam generation for convection, re-concentration of glycol mixer by oiling off water mixture, vaporization of LNG (liquid natural gas) during transportation and distribution, pipeline distribution, and etc. in addition to the aforementioned oil/gas/water separation.
While all types of immersion heaters may be used in offshore drilling, the most important heaters are flanged heaters used in separating gas, oil and water while extracting crude oil from the well. The crude oil often are mixed in its natural form with water and small amount of natural gas. The same is true with natural gas whereas it is mixed with water and other gases when it comes out of the ground. In this application flanged circulation heaters are used to break up the mixture so that oil separates from the water, which is denser. The natural gas rises to the top in the process leaving oil/water mixture at the bottom. The process of separating gas/oil/water is done through Heater/Treater unit using a closed loop circulation heater (more info on this process can be found here). As the heater achieves its temperature causing the separation, the natural gas on top will be extracted into Dehydration unit for processing or burning. At the same time, additional separation of oil from waste-water is done through Hydrocyclone unit. Hydrocyclones spin the oil/water mixture using its acceleration to separate oil and water. Flanged circulation heaters used in tank heating is best for offshore drilling heaters because the heating rods can conveniently be installed into a separate chamber inside the tank. Circulation heaters use water or glycol solution to be channeled into a closed circuit pipe to be reheated. The heating elements that are used in flanged circulation heaters are steel, stainless steel, or titanium.
The flanged circulation heaters manufactured by WATTCO™ are also used in other offshore drilling applications including tank heating, improving viscosity of crude oil for transportation, warming up of various sludge collections before pumping, as well as heating incoming process steams to remove water contamination. WATTCO™ heaters also provides excellent freeze protection for tanks and pipelines that store/transport crude oil. Standard solutions as well as customized solutions are available depending on each and every application according to its unique characteristics and/or environmental concerns.