This project involved the engineering design of pads and pipelines for a commercial-scale facility incorporating proprietary toe-to-heel air injection (THAI&##174;) technology utilized in an in-situ pilot plant. Of special interest in terms of pipeline design was the challenge of handling large volumes of sand entrained in the emulsion: Vista ensured that a delicate balance was reached to keep liquid velocities low enough to avoid pipeline erosion, yet high enough to avoid sand deposition.
The project’s focus was the engineering design of four pads with five well pairs each, complete with wellhead separators. Two of the pads acted as accumulation points for oil emulsion and also accommodated other equipment, including air compressors, tanks, glycol heaters and steam generation equipment.
Aboveground pipelines connecting the new pads to the central processing facility (CPF) included a 20″ sour gas line, a 6″ sour oil emulsion line, a 6″ produced water line, a 12″ high-pressure air line, a 6″ boiler feedwater line, a 4″ fuel gas line and a 4″ recovered condensate line. An existing 3″ fuel pipeline located under one of the new pad sites required Vista to reroute the existing line.
This existing pipeline was located under the new pad site, and commercial expansion plans posed a risk of long-term service interruption for the facility. In response, Vista rerouted the existing pipeline away from the new pad site, enabling the facility to maintain production levels while the new steel pipeline was tied in from the connection point to the rack piping.