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Tag Archives: Mud gas separator

Performance characteristics of mud gas separators

In a well-controlled situation, well bore fluids are directed through the choke and kill manifold to circulate hazardous gas in a safe and controlled manner using the Mud Gas Separator.

In the oilfield, the mud gas separator is sometimes known as ‘poor boy degasser’ or ‘gas buster’. They may be vertical or horizontal in design.

A Vertical separator is normally used for high fluid throughput, while a horizontal separator provides a longer retention time and superior gas separating capacity. Internal design and configuration (e.g. blast chamber, baffle plate etc.) governs the individual efficiency of the equipment.

mud gas separator

Performance characteristics
The limitation to the efficiency of a mud gas separator is dedicated by:
(i) Separating Capacity – the capacity to separate gas from the liquid is determined by the internal configuration and fluid dynamic characteristics of the separator.
(ii) Venting Capacity – the capacity to vent gas through the derrick vent is subject to the backpressure of the vent line and the hydrostatic head of the liquid seal.
(iii) Liquid re-entrainment Capacity – the capacity when the liquid droplets break away from a gas/liquid interface to become suspended in the gas phase. The term re-entrainment is used in separator design because it is assumed that droplets have settled to the liquid phase and are then returned to the gas phase.

It should be noted that the capacity of the separator to separate gas from the liquid may be considerably less than the capacity to vent gas within the limit of the liquid seal.

Necessity of mud gas separator in drilling site

Mud/Gas Separators are ideal for use where drilling is likely to encounter large volumes of gas. The technology is especially beneficial in sour gas environments or when drilling with an underbalanced mud column.

Function of mud gas separator

The mud/gas separator is designed to provide effective separation of the mud and gas circulated from the well by venting the gas and returning the mud to the mud pits. Small amounts of entrained gas can then be handled by a vacuum-type degasser located in the mud pits. The mud/gas separator controls gas cutting during kick situations, during drilling with significant drilled gas in the mud returns, or when trip gas is circulated up.

mud gas separator

Dangerousness if not use mud gas separator

When the drilling mud result gas invade, the proportion of its weight and viscosity have a greater deviation not to meet the requirements of drilling. The serious situation is that would cause Chung well, and even blowout accident occurred, if not to treat it timely.

Classification of mud gas separator 

Mud gas Separator combined with the Electric Ignition Device can be used to ensure the drilling process smooth. It is devided into the normal pressure Mud gas separator and pressure auto-control Mud gas separator, according to the pressure.Mud gas Separator is your best choice to prevent drilling mud invasion.


Types of Mud/Gas Separators

Three types of mud/gas separators commonly are used today: closed bottom, open bottom, and float type.

The closed-bottom separator, as the name implies, is closed at the vessel bottom with the mud return line directed back to the mud
tanks. 1. Mud leg is maintained in the separator by installation of an inverted U-shaped bend in the mud return line. Fluid level can
be adjusted by increasing/decreasing the length of the U-shaped bend.

Commonly called the poor boy, the open-bottom mud/gas separator is typically mounted on a mud tank or trip tank with the bottom of
the separator body submerged in the mud. 2. The fluid level (mud leg) in the separator is controlled by adjusting the fluid level in
the mud tank or by moving the separator up or down within the tank. Mud-tank height can restrict the maximum mud leg obtainable for
open-bottom mud/gas separators.


Fluid level (mud leg) is maintained in a float-type mud/gas separator by a float/valve configuration. 3. The float opens and closes a
valve on the mud return line to maintain the mud-leg level. Valves can be operated by a manual linkage system connected from the
float to the valve, or the valve can be air-operated with rig air. Mud-leg height can be controlled by adjusting the float assembly.

There are some inherent problems in the use of float-type mud/gas separators. The manual linkage separator has experienced problems
with linkage failure resulting in improper opening or closing of the mud-return-line valve. Air-operated valves fail to function if
rig air is lost, resulting in no control of fluid level within the separator. Mud-return-line valves are prone to plug with solids,
preventing mud flowback to the mud pits.

Vacuum degasser and mud gas separator

Vacuum degasser and mud gas separator are all the degassing equipment in oil&gas drilling fluid recyclong system. But working performance is different, now I will introducing its difference of vacuum degasser and mud gas separator.

Installation location

Vacuum degasser is usually to be as the second stage solid control equipment which is located the back of shale shaker and in front of desander and desilter. But mud gas separator is in front of the shale shaker.

mud gas separator

Degassing effect

Vacuum degasser can get rid of various gas of invasive drilling quickly. Vacuum degasser is very important for returning mud gravity, stabilizing mud viscosity and reducing drilling cost. Also, at the same time vacuum degasser can be used as a heavy-power agitator and supported applicable to all types of mud circulation purification system. But mud gas separator is commonly called a gas-buster or poor boy degasser. It captures and separates large volume of free gas within the drilling fluid. If there is a “KICK” situation, this vessel separates the mud and the gas by allowing it to flow over baffle plates.

vacuum degasser

Operational Theory

Vacuum degasser utilize negative pressure by vacuum pump to withdraw entrained gases from the mud. In order for this to work, mud is pumped through a venturi, which develops a negative pressure in the vessel by vacuum pump, thus sucking mud into the unit. The choice between horizontally- or vertically-mounted units is typically based on the footprint requirements of the specific rig.

The working principle of the mud gas separator( poor boy degasser )is simple. The drilling mud with gas mixture in the bore hole is transferred by mud return lines to the inlet of the mud gas separator, allowing it to impinge on a series of baffles which separates gas from drilling mud. The free gas flows into the flare line to be burned and the mud discharges to the shale shaker and to the mud tank.

Application of mud gas separator

Mud gas separator or gas buster, is common on most drilling rigs throughout the word. The mud gas separator is uesed to separate wellbore gas from the drilling fluid while circulating out a kick or circulating any gas present in drilling fluid during drilling or workover operation.

mud gas separator

Mud gas separator is a very important component in underbalanced drilling. A typical liquid gas separator is constructed of a cylindrical vessel with a series of baffles in it. The drilling fluid from the wellbore enters the separator,and the action of the fluid hitting the baffles separates easily removed gas from the fluid. The gas exits through a vent line at the top of the separator and is safety vented away from the rig floor. The mud exits the mud gas separator through a line near the bottom of “up hill” to return to the pit system.

Typically, the maximum allowable pressure of the mud gas separator when in use is determined by the fluid leg or height. The density fluid in the fluid leg is dependent on the fluid in use at the time, and therefore, operating pressure of the system is variable. This pressure is usually below 15psi. However, there are mud gas separators applications in which the vessel can operate at the pressure up to 100psi.

The friction pressure of the gas flowing through the vent line must be less than the hydrostatic pressure of the fluid in the fluid leg. If this friction pressure is greater than the hydristatic pressure in the fluid leg, gas well exit the fluid line and flow to the pit system.

What is the effect of using mud gas separator

During well control operations, the main purpose of a mud gas separator is to vent the gas and save the drilling fluid. This is important not only economic reasons, but also to minimise the risk of circulating out a gas kick without having to shut down to mix additional mud volume. In some situations the amount of mud lost can be critical when surface volume is marginal and on-site mud supplies are limited. When a gas kick is properly shut in and circulated out, the mud gas separator should be capable of saving most of the mud.

There are a number of design features which affect the volume of gas and fluid that the separator can safely handle. For production operations, gas oil separators can be sized and internally designed to efficiently separate gas from the fluid.

mud gas separator

This is possible because the fluid and gas characteristics are known and design flow rates can be readily established. It is apparent that ‘gas busters’ for drilling rigs cannot be designed on the same basis since the properties of circulated fluids from gas are unpredictable and a wide range of mixing conditions occur downhole. In addition, mud rheological properties vary widely and have a strong effect on gas environment.

mud gas separator

For both practical and cost reasons, rig mud gas separators are not designed for maximum possible gas release rates which might be needed; however, they should not handle most kicks when recommended shut-in procedures and well control practises are followed. When gas low rates exceed the separator capacity, the flow must be bypassed around the separator directly to the flare line. This will prevent the hazardous situation of blowing the liquid from the bottom of the separator and discharging gas into the mud system.

Adjustable seater type mud gas separator

The adjustable seater type mud gas separator consists of lifting pipe, foxation pipe and baseboard. The quadrangle of the baseboard are all weld fixation pipe, and each pipe has inserted the lifting pipe. The fixation pipe connected with the lifting pipe by fixation hinge pin, the surface of lifting pipe and fixation pipe all equipped multi-align to grid holes.

Mud gas separator

Why produce the adjustable seater mud gas separator

Because of the different drilling rig with the drill floor height, so the matched solid control system height is different, so that make the height of the connection mouth of the mud gas separator and solid control system and the ground is changed. The heigh between the primary mud gas separator and the solid control system mouth and the ground is formulated by the drilling users, if there is difference after delivery the equipment, we can alter the located ground of the mud gas separator.

The adjustale seater mud gas separator is a kind of simple structure, reasonable design, conveniently to use and realize easily adjust the mud gas separator supporter.

liquid gas separator

Adjustable seater mud gas separator adopts the technology scheme to realize as followings:

1 The quadrangle of the baseboard are all weld fixation pipe, and each pipe has inserted the lifting pipe. The fixation pipe connected with the lifting pipe by fixation hinge pin.

2.The surface of lifting pipe and the fixation pipe of the adjustable seater mud gas separator are all equipped the multi-open holes of align to grid.

Compared with the existing technology, adjustable mud gas separator has the advantages of lower cost, simple structure, reasonable design, convenient to use and strong practicability, it efficiency realize the easily adjust mud gas separator height, reduce the labour intensity, reduce the production cost and improve the working efficiency.

Installation and Operation of Mud Gas Separator

mud gas separator

The mud-gas separator separates the free gas from the contaminated mud leaving the choke manifold before it is routed to the degasser. Entrained gas is extracted at the degasser.
The mud-gas separator can be installed as:

  • A skid mounted horizontal or vertical unit outside a mud tank;
  • United with the trip tank.

The size of the mud-gas separator should be such that it can handle the fluid and gas which is bled off via the choke manifold safely. Minimum dimensions and configurations of various types of mud-gas separators are given in (click link).
The following shall be met when configurating the pipe work for the mud/gas separator:

  • There are to be no valves, pipe expansion or contractions within 3 m (10 ft) of the inlet nozzle;
  • If a bend is required in the feed pipe it shall be in a vertical plane through the axis of the feed nozzle;
  • The pipe reducer of the gas outlet line should be no nearer to the top of the vessel than 0.6 m (2 ft).

The gas outlet line shall be a minimum of 200 mm (8″). If the vent exists more than 40 m (130 ft) from the vessel this vent line diameter should be increased to ensure that the back pressure in the vent line does not exceed 15 kPa (2 psi), at a gas flowrate of 0.2 x 106 m3 (st)/d (7 MMscf/d). No reduction in any vessel dimension is permitted.
No other internals (e.g. mist mats) are permitted due to their unsuitability for the rugged service.
The mud-gas separator shall have one or more vent lines leading a safe distance downwind from the well.  Low places in the vent lines should be avoided in order to prevent liquids being trapped in them.
Never connect the choke manifold and/or mud-gas separator discharge lines directly to the degasser (always have an open pipe).

The mud-gas separator shall not be operated above its design limitation. Operating outside of this envelop will give poor mud/gas separation and the possibility of gas blow through. An additional unit with dedicated vent line shall be installed when the mud-gas separator capacity is insufficient for the well to be drilled.

Mud gas separator principle of operation

The operating principle of a mud gas separator is relatively simple. The device is essentially a vertical steel cylindrical body with openings on the top, bottom, and side.

The mud and gas mixture is fed into the separator inlet and directed at a flat steel plate perpendicular to the flow. This impingement plate minimizes the erosional wear on the separator’s internal walls and assists with mud gas separator.

Separation is further assisted as the mud gas mixture falls over a series of baffles designed to increase the turbulence within the upper section of the vessel. The free gas is then vented through the gas vent line, and mud is returned to the mud tanks.

Operating pressure within the separator is equal to the friction pressure of the free gas venting through the vent line. Fluid is maintained at a specific level (mud leg) within the separator at all times.

If the friction pressure of the gas venting through the vent line exceeds the mud-leg hydrostatic pressure within the separator, a blow-through condition will result sending a mud gas mixture to the mud tanks.

As one can readily see, the critical point for separator blow-through exists when peak gas flow rates are experienced in the separator. Peak gas flow rates should theoretically be experienced when gas initially reaches the separator.


Mud gas separator & Vacuum degasser

Drilling fluid mud gas separator is the primary degassing equipment for disposing drilling fluid. Compared with vacuum degasser, the major difference is the mud gas separator is mainly used for eliminating the big bubbles whose diameter is larger than 3mm in drilling fluid. In addition, mud gas separator is mainly by gravity impact action to realize the separation, and yet the vacuum degasser adopts the theory of vacuum, centrifugation.

The handling capacity of vacuum degasser is less than the mud gas separator, but can eliminate gas more thoroughly. Generally the drilling fluid disposed by mud gas separator still contains minute bubbles, after through shale shaker, and enter into the vacuum degasser to dispose.


The following are the DC Machinery Mud gas separator and Vacuum degasser parameters.

Mud gas separator parameters:

Model ZYQ800 ZYQ1000 ZYQ1200
Main body diameter 800mm 1000mm 1200mm
Capacity 200~260m3/h 240~300m3/h 280~360m3/h
Inlet pipe 5″ 5″ 5″
Output pipe 8″ 8″ 10″
Gas discharge pipe 8″ 8″ 8″
Weight 1600kg 2100kg 2800kg
Dimensions 1900×1900×5700mm 2000×2000×5860mm 2200×2200×6634mm

Vacuum degasser parameters:

Model ZCQ240 ZCQ270 ZCQ300 ZCQ360
Main Diameter 700mm 800mm 900mm 1000mm
Treating Capacity ≤240 m3/h ≤270 m3/h ≤300 m3/h ≤360 m3/h
Vacuum -0.030~-0.045MPa -0.030~-0.050MPa -0.030~-0.055MPa -0.040~-0.065MPa
Ratio 1.68 1.68 1.68 1.72
Efficiency ≥95%
Motor Power 15kw 22kw 30kw 37kw
Vacuum Power 2.2kw 3kw 4kw 7.5kw
Dimension 1750×860×1500 2000×1000×1670 2250×1330×1650 2400×1500×1850
Weight 1150kg 1450kg 1800kg 2100kg

The mud gas separator and vacuum degasser are all degassing equipments in solids control system, they are extremely reliable, vital piece of safety equipments for today’s drilling operations.


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