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About This Item


Full Description

This specification covers minimum requirements for material, design, fabrication, and testing of vertical and horizontal emulsion treaters. Emulsion treating is normally conducted on crude oil immediately after it is separated from its associated gas in a vessel referred to as a treater or sometimes as a heater treater. High gas-oil ratio wells or those produced by gas lift may require the installation of an oil and gas separator upstream of the treater to remove most of the associated gas before the emulsion enters the treater. Where the water to oil ratio is high, freewater knockouts may be required upstream of the treater.

The jurisdiction of this specification terminates with each pressure vessel as applicable: the emulsion treater with firetube(s) and, if used, the heat exchanger(s) and water siphon. Pressure vessels covered by this specification are classified as natural resource vessels. An emulsion treater is a pressure vessel used in the oil producing industry for separating oil-water emulsions and gas, and for breaking or resolving emulsified well streams into water and saleable clean oil components. Emulsion treaters are usually equipped with one or more removable firetubes or heat exchange elements through which heat is applied to the water and/or emulsion to aid the emulsion breaking process.

Document History

  1. API Spec 12L


    Specification for Vertical and Horizontal Emulsion Treaters, Fifth Edition

    • Most Recent
  2. API Spec 12L

    Specification for Vertical and Horizontal Emulsion Treaters

    • Historical Version