Wärtsilä has signed three contracts with Aker Midsund of Norway to deliver its Vessel Internal Electrostatic Coalescer (VIEC) systems for three North Sea oilfields. The system enhances the speed and efficiency of the separation process of oil and water onboard in an environmentally safe manner. The contracts were signed in the fourth quarter of 2013. The systems are scheduled to be delivered between April and August 2014.
VIEC will be utilized at the Gina Krog, Mariner, and Ivar Aasen oil fields in the North Sea. Aker Midsund AS is the Separation Package supplier for all three projects towards the EPC contract holders. Wärtsilä will in each project supply a complete VIEC system with all required elements, all vessel internal cabling and tubing, penetrators and stainless steel frames, supports, and other items including the power distribution. The systems will enable the quality of the oil and water to be notably improved.
"Wärtsilä continues to actively develop new and innovative products to make oil and water separation more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally safe. The Wärtsilä VIEC technology offers a wide range of benefits, particularly in the lowering of both capital and operating expenditures," said Tore Lunde, Director, Wärtsilä Gas Solutions.
With conventional separators, heating, chemicals and additional vessels are often required to handle difficult and stable emulsions. These solutions create high operational costs and place a strain on the environment. The Wärtsilä VIEC breaks the emulsion without excessive use of chemicals or heat, thus increasing production, lowering costs, and promoting environmental sustainability. Prior to the development of the VIEC, electrostatic coalescer technology had been unavailable for use in inlet separators.
The Wärtsilä Vessel Internal Electrostatic Coalescer
The Vessel Internal Electrostatic Coalescer is suitable for both offshore and onshore installations and greatly improves both oil and produced water quality. It solves the problems often associated with emulsion and capacity limits in separators. It enhances the speed and efficiency of the separation process by forcing small water droplets to merge and form larger, faster sedimenting drops. Until the development of VIEC, electrostatic coalescer technology had been unavailable for use in inlet separators.