Volume: 4 | Issue: 6

Separations Technology Technical Section Continues Success and Growth Into 2016

Entering its fifth year, the Separations Technology Technical Section (STTS) under SPE’s Project, Facilities, and Construction (PFC) discipline has grown to more than 1,000 members, of which 150 are students, representing all the 16 SPE regions and six disciplines of SPE.

Many of the section members attended the fourth annual special session, “Gas Scrubber Design and Validation for Robust Separation Duty,” held during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in Houston in September. Five presentations covered the Separation Technology Research Program (also known as STAR) joint industry project, scrubber design methodology, scrubber specification, an actual scrubber upgrade, and performance monitoring and troubleshooting using radioactive tracers.

In keeping with this year’s theme of scrubber design, the STTS sponsored three web events featuring a holistic scrubber design approach, advances in high-capacity scrubber internals, and computational fluid dynamics optimization of a scrubber inlet design.

Next year, the STTS theme will be three-phase separation. Web events are being developed to build the momentum toward our similarly themed special session at the 2016 ATCE in Dubai. As an additional means of information transfer, the “Savvy Separator” series of articles introduced in the June issue of the Oil and Gas Facilities magazine will continue next year.

The STTS holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the ATCE. At the September meeting, a new slate of officers was elected, with members from operating companies, consultants, research institutions, equipment designers, educators, and engineering companies. The section board now has members in North America, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Singapore.

We are always looking to grow our membership across geographic regions and technical disciplines. The STTS welcomes your suggestions, ideas, and assistance on topics that are critical and relevant to the needs of our industry.

The STTS offers a means of obtaining information and experience, developing designs and ideas, and networking. Its mission is to provide a forum for technical professionals and academia to

  • Share knowledge, experiences, and best practices
  • Identify major issues and technology areas for cooperation and discussions
  • Maintain and promote industry awareness of separation-related issues and technologies
  • Enhance their own technical competencies that meet the needs of the petroleum industry

I have been elected as the STTS chairperson. A special thanks goes to outgoing STTS Chairperson Hank Rawlins, of eProcess Technologies, and his committee for their hard work to make this year a success.

You are invited to join us next year and continue the success of the STTS. To participate in the discussion, visit the STTS website at

Jimmie Riesenberg is the chair of the SPE Separations Technology Technical Section and a PetroWiki ( moderator for separations topics. He is a senior process adviser at Chevron Energy Technology Company and may be reached at



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