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Separation Technology Research (STAR) Program Joint Industry Project

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The STAR Program, led and administered by SwRI, is a Joint Industry Project (JIP) for conducting research, conducting systematic testing, and enabling qualification of separation equipment. The STAR Program will combine the knowledge, effort, and resources from various members in the energy sector to collect relevant data on separation performance that would be too expensive for a single company to generate. The goal of the STAR Program is to systematically test separation equipment and increase fundamental knowledge in phase separation.

Members of the STAR Program guide the direction of this research program by identifying and selecting the technologies to be tested, providing input on standard testing approaches, and by actively participating in planning experiments, witnessing testing, and commenting on results. The program includes international participation and members from all non-sanctioned countries are welcome to join the program.

The STAR Program:

  • Provides a forum for experts in phase separation and equipment manufacturers to meet on a regular basis and discuss common needs, available technologies, and new developments
  • Is intended to motivate the improvement of existing technologies or identify gaps that can lead to the development of new technologies
  • Is intended to continue for many years, although the initial study is a three-year program that began in June 2014
  • Involves projects on gas/liquid separation, as well as liquid/liquid and three-phase separation
  • Includes a general approach of testing as close to field-like conditions as possible, including high pressures with hydrocarbon fluids, and developing standard testing approaches that can be used to evaluate and compare similar technologies
  • Will also include low-pressure basic testing, as needed, in the early stages of evaluation of a technology
  • Will develop guidelines or recommended practices, based on the data collected from this program

Participating Companies

  • 4 Operators
  • 8 Contractors
  • 8 Equipment Manufacturers

STAR Program Benefits

  • Leveraged research will result in reduced time and cost from initial concept to field application.
  • Standardized testing will provide consistent evaluation of similar technologies, minimizing repeated testing and providing a level playing field.
  • A reduction in risk associated with implementing technologies in the field will be achieved by consistent qualification testing at independent test facilities.
  • Contractors will have performance data on equipment to offer as packaged solutions to clients, and equipment manufacturers can use the same data to market their products among members or improve their technologies.
  • Both proprietary and non-proprietary equipment can be tested. Data will be shared by the participants, while protecting the manufacturer's know-how.
  • Independent performance data and physics-based models will be developed for various types of separation equipment.
  • Research will be conducted using existing flow loops, thus minimizing capital costs.

The project budget is approximately $1 million dollars per year, and funding comes from fees paid by member companies. Contact Chris Buckingham at (210) 522-3307 today for the membership fee structure.

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