“Talking to industry representatives at the recent North Sea Flow Measurement Workshop in Aberdeen, it was clear that these research projects will meet a real industry need,” says Principal Consultant, Dr. Bruno Pinguet. “People said to me, finally JIPs where we can get real answers about performance.”
The JIPs have been set up because the pace of technological advancement in flow metering technology, largely driven by the rapid shift to subsea production, has outstripped the capabilities of test houses around the world. This, in turn, has led to multiphase, wet gas and water cut meters being used outside their qualified operating envelopes. It has also led to unsubstantiated meter manufacturer claims and to a lack of confidence in meter performance.
The physical testing for both JIPs will take place at NEL’s Advanced Multiphase Facility. The facility, the first of its kind in the world, will allow testing at wide-ranging flow rates under high operating pressures and temperatures. It will also allow testing in flow regimes that fall between wet gas and multiphase flows. Most importantly, it will allow the evaluation of meters at the conditions in which they are used in the field.
The project team is now looking for participants for both JIPs from leading oil and gas companies to take part in the research.
The two research projects are vital because all the types of meter under test are used extensively in the oil and gas sector. By removing the need for costly separation equipment and flow lines, multiphase flow meters have made it possible to recover hydrocarbons from fields previously considered unviable for development. Water cut meters are used to measure the water content (cut) of recovered hydrocarbons. They are considered an enabler to subsea production by allowing optimisation at the wellhead and playing a major role in managing flow assurance issues.
Both JIPs will take place in 2019, with Phase 1 results scheduled to be released in October.