Accurate allocation measurement results are a key financial and commercial driver for E&P companies. Yet despite limited evidence of the performance of Coriolis and ultrasonic flow meter technology, they are being increasingly deployed for single-phase oil flows contaminated with water or natural gas. DNV GL has initiated a Joint Industry Project (JIP), now open for industry partners, E&P companies and manufacturers to join, to assess the capability and feasibility of the meters.
Validation and independent test results needed
Coriolis and ultrasonic flow meters are widely accepted for application in single-phase oil flows by the oil industry. However, there is little validation nor independent test results to support the claim that they produce accurate allocation measurement results. Inaccurate results related to the oil flow can present both operational and financial risks by negatively influence decision-making and understanding of operational efficiency. The JIP will therefore provide testing guidelines, a performance assessment and correction algorithms as a foundation for using Coriolis and ultrasonic flow meters for phase contaminated oil flows.
Reducing the financial risks that E&P companies face
“Accurate measurement of the production of oilfields is an important means of reducing the financial risks that E&P companies face in allocation processes. Yet more and more we see the application of these meters in phase contaminated oil flows, despite limited evidence of their performance,” said Dennis van Putten, Expert Multiphase Flow Metering, DNV GL - Oil & Gas. “There is still a lack of common understanding of the multiphase phenomena within the industry and no systematic approach to the use of these technologies in such conditions. Biases will occur in phase contaminated flows and an accepted correction algorithm is required as an important step towards qualifying Coriolis meters and ultrasonic flow meters in these situations.”
DNV GL’s gas flow measurement experience
To achieve this correction algorithm, a test programme will be performed under conditions close to real field situations (oil /water/natural gas mixtures). These conditions can be created in DNV GL’s Multiphase Flow Facility in Groningen, The Netherlands. “We have more than 30 years gas flow measurement experience and we designed and constructed this new facility for these types of tests in 2013. Its value has already been recognised by the industry,” van Putten explained.
“We have already seen a great deal of interest in this project from the industry. The value for E&P companies in joining this JIP is in finding solutions which can mitigate the large financial risks present in production allocation systems,” said Bert Tinge, Senior Business Development Manager, DNV GL - Oil & Gas.
Coriolis and ultrasonic flow meter manufacturers are participating in the JIP. “By being part of the project, the manufacturers will gain valuable insight into the performance of their own technology under single phase conditions contaminated with small fractions of water and gas. The JIP will provide them with a route to broad industrial acceptance and corresponding access to the market,” Tinge continues.
Adapted from press release by Cecilia Rehn