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Heater Treater | ViENERG


Posted on September 14, 2015 at 4:00 PM by Vienerg


Heater Treater


This blog explains Heater Treater is a Vessel that uses heat to break the oil – water emulsion, and separating the crude oil from water and other materials. It is very essential equipment in the production process.

Heater-treaters are an improvement over the gun barrel and heater system. When compared to gunbarrels, heater-treaters are less expensive initially, offer lower installation costs, provide greater heat efficiency, provide greater flexibility, and experience greater overall efficiency.


Heater-treaters are smaller than other treating vessels, their retention times are minimal (10 to 30 min) when compared to gunbarrels and horizontal flow treaters.


There are two types of Heater treaters commonly used in Oil & Gas industry operations


  • Horizontal Heater Treater

  • Vertical Heater Treater

  • Horizontal Heater Treater
    The horizontal heater-treater consists of three major sections: front (heating and water-wash), oil surge chamber, and coalescing sections.

    Incoming fluids enter the front (heating and water-wash) section through the fluid inlet and down over the deflector hood where gas is flashed and removed. Heavier materials (water and solids) flow to the bottom while lighter materials (gas and oil) flow to the top. Free gas breaks out and passes through the gas equalizer loop to the gas outlet.


    The oil, emulsion, and free water pass around the deflector hood to the spreader located slightly below the oil–water interface, where the liquid is "water-washed" and the free water is separated.
    For low gas–oil-ratio crudes, blanket gas may be required to maintain gas pressure. The oil and emulsion are heated as they rise past the fire tubes and are skimmed into the oil surge chamber. As free water separates from the incoming fluids in the front section.


    The front (heating and water-wash) section must be sized to handle settling of the free water and heating of the oil. The coalescing section must be sized to provide adequate retention time for coalescing to occur and to allow the coalescing water droplets to settle downward countercurrent to the upward flow of the oil.

    A horizontal heater-treaters can handle large amount of emulsion by a long 'U' firetube. .Some heater-treaters are designed with only the coalescing section.


    Vienerg offer turnkey skid mounted Vertical and Horizontal heater treater units are used for Oil, Water and Gas separation that incorporate all the necessary equipment such as vessels, meter house, and additional valves and controls as per customer specifications.



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