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NOTE 5: PRODUCTION WELL TESTING
2-Phase Separator versus 3-Phase Separator

Determining the production rate from oil wells is simpler and less costly because of AGAR’s advanced technologies. For many years complex 3-phase separators were the industry standard because measurement technologies required the separation of the hydrocarbon, water, and gas phases. AGAR’s patented 0-100% microwave energy absorption technology for oil/water measurements has revolutionized well testing and optimization when well test separators are utilized.

Well Testing Rate 2-Phase 3-Phase
Separator Size Small, short residence time Large, long residence time
Retention Time Only need to separate liquid from gas Large: must separate oil from water
Purging Time Short: small liquid volume Long: large liquid volume

Accuracy 2-Phase 3-Phase
Purging Smaller liquid volumes reduce chances of error Fluid from previous well can greatly affect results if not completely purged.
Emulsions Measures 0 - 100% water in liquid leg Any oil discharged with water is not measured
Inversions Continues to measure properly with density inversions Any oil discharged with water is not measured
Instrumentation 1 flow meter, 1 liquid draw-off valve, 1 Hi/Lo control 2 flow meters, 2 draw-off valves, 2 Hi/Lo controls

Economics 2-Phase 3-Phase
Number of instruments 1 flow meter, 1 set of level controls, & 1 control valve Requires 2 flow meters, 2 sets of level controls, & 2 control valves
Vessel Size Smaller with legal capacity Large because of required retention time for oil/water separation
Piping Only 1 liquid leg Requires both water leg & oil leg
Maintenance Much simpler system More maintenance items
Well Tests per day More because of reduced purge times Fewer because of longer purge times
3-Phase Well Tester
3-Phase Well Tester (Old Method)
2-Phase Well Tester
2-Phase Well Tester (New, Simpler Agar Technology)
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