This work presents the methodology and results of the optimization of the internals (Inlet distributor, oil and water collectors) of a 20,000 BPD (0.037 m3/s) gun-barrel tank starting from an existing design. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was applied to simulate and evaluate the performance of various internal configurations. These simulations were performed to determine the best configuration to ensure efficient separation of the oil-water mixture and oil with a low BSW content < 2% at the outlet. The simulations were carried out using the commercial software ANSYS Fluent under the two-phase flow VOF model and k-ε realizable turbulence model. Further CFD simulations were performed to evaluate the behavior of the gun barrel tank under different operating conditions (Different inlet flow rate) and to determine the maximum operation flow which allows obtaining the crude-oil with a maximum BSW content of 0.5%. From the simulation results, an operating curve (operating flow vs retention time) was constructed. This information allows, in practice, to identify the inlet flow rate based on the desired content of BSW in the separated oil.

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