The offshore de-oiling process is a vital part of current oil recovery, as it separates the profitable oil from water and ensures that the discharged water contains as little of the polluting oil as possible. With the passage of time, there is an increase in the water fraction in reservoirs that adds to the strain put on these facilities, and thus larger quantities of oil are being discharged into the oceans, which has in many studies been linked to negative effects on marine life. In many cases, such installations are controlled using non-cooperative single objective controllers which are inefficient in handling fluctuating inflows or complicated operating conditions. This work introduces a model-based robust H
control solution that handles the entire de-oiling system and improves the system’s robustness towards fluctuating flow thereby improving the oil recovery and reducing the environmental impacts of the discharge. The robust H
control solution was compared to a benchmark Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) control solution and evaluated through simulation and experiments performed on a pilot plant. This study found that the robust H
control solution greatly improved the performance of the de-oiling process.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited