1. n. [Production Facilities]
Equipment that transfers heat to the produced gas stream. Heaters are especially used when producing natural gas or condensate to avoid the formation of ice and gas hydrates. These solids can plug the wellhead, chokes and flowlines. The production of natural gas is usually accompanied by water vapor. As this mixture is produced, it cools down on its way to the surface and also when the mixture passes through a surface production choke. This reduction of fluid temperature can favor the formation of gas hydrates if heaters are not used. Heaters may also be used to heat emulsions before further treating procedures or when producing crude oil in cold weather to prevent freezing of oil or formation of paraffin accumulations.