Slug Catchers are devices designed to handle massive amounts of liquid moving through pipelines.
They are designed with the intent of creating a retention time which slows the large unexpected movements of liquid in the pipelines.
Slug Catchers may be either a vessel or constructed of pipe.
Vessel slug catcher
Vessel type slug catchers are simple two phase separation vessels. While the separation efficiency of the vessel is not critical for a slug catcher, the vessel volume is.
The vessel needs to be large enough to accommodate large liquid slugs produced by a pipeline, especially during pipeline pigging.
Since an oil and gas pipeline normally sees very high pressure the large vessel also has to be designed to withstand high pressure.
Finger slug catchers
Finger Slug Catchers provide an answer to the economic problem of having to design a large buffer vessel at high design pressure.
Finger type slug catchers use large diameter pipes instead of a conventional vessel to provide a buffer volume.
While a pipe option is easier to design to withstand high pressures, often the large number of pipes required to provide sufficient volume results in a large footprint for the slug catcher.
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