Table of Contents
Journal of Petroleum Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 793101, 6 pages
Research Article

Improving the Demulsification Process of Heavy Crude Oil Emulsion through Blending with Diluent

Petroleum Engineering Unit, Department of Chemical Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), PMB 4000, Ogbomoso, Nigeria

Received 7 January 2013; Accepted 3 April 2013

Academic Editor: Andrea Franzetti

Copyright © 2013 K. K. Salam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In crude oil production from brown fields or heavy oil, there is production of water in oil emulsions which can either be controlled or avoided. This emulsion resulted in an increase in viscosity which can seriously affect the production of oil from sand phase up to flow line. Failure to separate the oil and water mixture efficiently and effectively could result in problems such as overloading of surface separation equipments, increased cost of pumping wet crude, and corrosion problems. Light hydrocarbon diluent was added in varied proportions to three emulsion samples collected from three different oil fields in Niger delta, Nigeria, to enhance the demulsification of crude oil emulsion. The viscosity, total petroleum hydrocarbon, and quality of water were evaluated. The viscosity of the three emulsions considered reduced by 38, 31, and 18%. It is deduced that the increase in diluent blended with emulsion leads to a corresponding decrease in the value of viscosity. This in turn enhanced the rate of demulsification of the samples. The basic sediment and water (BS&W) of the top dry oil reduces the trace value the three samples evaluated, and with optimum value of diluent, TPH values show that the water droplets are safe for disposal and for other field uses.