Saudi Aramco Review 2015

The huge electrostatic coalescers fabricated by Frames

The huge electrostatic coalescers fabricated by Frames

Frames makes electrostatic coalescers for Shaybah

The internals of the electrostatic coalescers were fabricated in-house in The Netherlands, while the fabrication of the vessels was subcontracted to Frames’ local strategic partner MIS Arabia, a renowned fabricator in Saudi Arabia

Frames, a Dutch supplier of oil and gas solutions, successfully completed the fabrication of two enormous electrostatic coalescers for the Shaybah Oil Field GOSP 4 CPF Expansion in Saudi Arabia.

The electrostatic coalescers enable a production capacity for the Shaybah oil field up to 1 million barrels a day (mbpd). In 2014 Frames was awarded the design and supply of the vessels by Samsung Engineering, the Korean EPC contractor.

The Shaybah Oil Field is Saudi Aramco’s most remote oil field and located in the northern edge of the Rub’ Al-Khali desert. The current production of this field is about 750,000 bpd. The electrostatic coalescers, also known as dehydrators/desalters will be used to dehydrate and desalt an additional 250,000 bpd at the Shaybah Field and are therefore huge in size; 49 metres long and 4.3 metres in diameter.


Headquartered in the Netherlands, Frames has more than 500 employees working in 16 offices worldwide, each focused on a specific range of systems and solutions.

In 2006 Frames opened an office in Abu Dhabi and in 2011 an office in Saudi Arabia was opened. This way Frames was able to provide sales and complete project execution locally in the Middle East, be closer to clients and acquire more knowledge of local market and supply chain.

"We are engaging with various clients to take partnerships to a higher level: joint technology development and supplying total solutions to them," says Taoufik Elkaabouni, general manager Frames Saudi Arabia.

For the fabrication of the electrostatic coalescers, Frames worked together with a local partner. The internals of the electrostatic coalescers were fabricated in-house in The Netherlands, while the fabrication of the vessels was subcontracted to Frames’ local strategic partner MIS Arabia, a renowned fabricator in Saudi Arabia. From this fabrication shop the vessels were transported to the Shaybah Oil Field, which is a journey of more than 800 km through the desert.


Frames is a known supplier to Saudi Aramco, mostly due to its drive to help clients find solutions for their process challenges. "With depleting reservoirs, more water needs to be injected in (oil) fields to maintain pressure and continue production," says Geert Willemse, sales manager at Frames Separation Technologies. "This will change the composition of the well stream and requires advanced solutions to ensure efficient separation."

Frames is familiar with Saudi Aramco’s challenges and has for many years been providing its debottlenecking and revamping support through engineering studies, CFD analyses and process equipment. For many different GOSP’s, Frames by now has offered Saudi Aramco mitigation measures for increased water cut and tight emulsions, two recurring topics that increasingly require their attention.

Willemse says the delivery of the electrostatic coalescers is a new milestone in Frames’ relationship with Saudi Aramco: "Our first supply to Saudi Aramco started in 1993 with two separator skids for the Berri Platform. Later, many large multiphase separators followed for the Shaybah, Khurais, Safaniyah and Hawiyah fields as well as produced water treatment applications for the Shaybah, Khurais and Manifa fields. Since electrostatic coalescers are the last and crucial step in the crude separation train, the recent supply of also these items confirms of the confidence of Saudi Aramco in our capabilities as a world-class solution provider."

As a company that emphasises its know-how and where client focus is paramount, Frames thrives at these type of challenges. "Our cooperation with Saudi Aramco puts our know-how and client focus into practice: a challenge only becomes a solution when it is achieved together," explains Willemse.


Frames proprietary electrostatic coalescers are 2-phase separators that utilise an electrostatic field to remove water and salts from crude oil, allowing cost-effective transport and protecting downstream processes. Frames builds on its vast experience in coalescer engineering, enabling them to give their clients a competitive advantage when it comes to cleaning crude oil. By efficiently and effectively removing undesirable water and salts, clients are able to increase the quality of their crude oil, cut their transport costs and protect their downstream processes and equipment.


Frames is the vital link between the well and pipeline. The company designs, delivers and constructs separation and treatment equipment, control and safeguarding systems as well as total plant solutions and modules for the international oil and gas market. Frames is present in the onshore, offshore and floater segment.

Frames Separation Technologies, a family member of Frames, offers a full range of separation solutions from internals only to complete skids. The department designs and supplies the entire separation train consisting of multiphase separation, gas separation, electrostatic coalescers and produced water treatment. These systems and solutions are crucial for the separation of crude, gas, water, salts and other contaminants.

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