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Basic Midstream Operations

Midstream operations in oil and gas industry is responsible for transporting production fluids from the production site (wellhead) to downstream refinery or plants, processing different components into marketable product(s) or environmentally acceptable substance(s) for disposal, storing, and marketing. The figure below shows a typical process procedure. The well stream fluids normally consist of different components, including gas, liquid, water, and solids. These fluids need to be separated, processed, and treated before delivering to the downstream facilities. This lesson will discuss different surface facilities, such as separators, oil and gas processing facilities, pipeline transportation, multiphase flow in pipes, and some flow assurance issues.

Typical process procedure

Why It Matters

Midstream is an important sector in the oil and gas industry. Understanding different components in the midstream sector help us ensure a more safe living environment, make right decisions, and be cautious of any potential risks and report them if necessary.

Learning objectives

  • Explain how horizontal and vertical separators work and their advantages and disadvantages
  • Explain how oil dehydration and desalting processes work
  • Explain how gas dehydration, sweetening, and processing work
  • Describe different pipeline systems
  • Recognize pipeline materials and their advantages and disadvantages
  • Describe causes of pipeline failure
  • Describe pipeline protection methods
  • Describe pipeline inspection methods
  • Describe multiphase flow and its related problems in transportation
  • Describe gas hydrate and how to prevent and remediate gas hydrate blockage
  • Describe wax deposition and its remediation method