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Petroleum Engineer's Guide to Oil Field Chemicals and Fluids by Johannes Fink

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Chapter 23. Demulsifiers

Emulsions in Produced Crude Oil

During its production most crude oil occurs as a water-in-oil emulsion whose continuous phase depends on the water to oil ratio, the natural emulsifier systems contained in the oil, and the origin of the emulsion. The emulsifiers are complex chemically, and to overcome their effect, petroleum-emulsion demulsifiers developed. As new oil fields are developed, and as production conditions change in older fields, there is a constant need for new, effective demulsifiers.
The emulsion must be separated before the crude oil can be accepted for transportation, to meet the residual salt and water content quality criteria for a delivered crude oil. The water content must be less than 1%.
The separated ...

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