Modelling the distribution of mercury in oil and gas processing facilities

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2018
Thesis identifier
  • T15140
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201481482
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Mercury is not only considered a toxic pollutant in the environment but also a corrosive element in processing equipment. The presence of mercury in oil and gas can increase the exposure risk to field operators and can cause serious corrosion problems. Furthermore,it may cause catalyst poisoning and deactivation; these could lead to long,unplanned shutdowns which are neither operationally nor financially desirable as they negatively impacts the equipment life and profit. Therefore, producing oil and gas from reservoirs that contain mercury is a challenging task. This work is concerned with the thermodynamic modelling of mercury distribution in oil and gas process facilities. The main objectives of this research are to investigate the distribution of mercury in oil and gas process facilities in order to eliminate mercury impact and unplanned shutdowns.In addition it aims to identify the best location of mercury removal units in an effort to alleviate mercury exposure risks and damage. This work allows the prediction of the thermodynamic behavior of elemental mercury in a wide variety of solvents, hydrocarbon mixtures, and operating conditions where experimental data are unavailable.This was successfully achieved by using two approaches; introducing binary interaction parameters between mercury and other molecules, and modelling mercury atoms as an associating atoms. The effectiveness of the developed models is validated against experimental data.It has been observed that the process operating conditions play an important role in mercury distribution in various phases. Reducing the operating pressure and increasing operating temperature allows more heavy hydrocarbons to flash out carrying over more mercury to the gas stream. This increases the possibility of mercury accumulation in the gas processing units. The presence of heavy hydrocarbons in the produced water streams increases the solubility of elemental mercury in these streams. This negatively impacts the biosphere due to mercury pollution.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Lue, Leo
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2018
Former identifier
  • 9912702192502996