Nowadays, the increasing demand for energy in the world is one of the main concerns for energy supply. In fact, the required energy can be obtained by increasing the production rate of fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. However, improving the efficiency of the equipment and facilities might have a significant impact on production from hydrocarbon resources. With respect to this subject, the optimization
of separation facilities will be a simple and economic choice to increase the amount of the liquid obtained from production units all over the world. One of the parameters which have a noticeable effect on the yield of the production units is the separator pressure. Also, there are other factors such as heptane plus fraction properties, well head pressure, and ambient temperature which can change the optimum separator conditions. In this study, the influence of crude oil properties on the number of stages and pressure of each separator is investigated. The result shows that the most important property of the feed which has the greatest influence on the conditions of separators is the percentage of heptane plus fraction in crude oil. Therefore, a method for the estimation of the number of separators based on the percentage of C7+ component is developed. Moreover, the threshold of heptane plus fraction for selecting the optimum number of separator stages was observed to be around 30% in the feed composition. Hence, three separators and a stock tank can separate samples with a C7+ molar fraction lower than 30%, but two separators and a stock tank are needed for samples with a heptane plus fraction higher than 30%. Finally, the results indicate an increase of about 1.3% in the oil production for the new optimization
method compared to the constant-ratio method.