DNV GL to examine impact of phase-contamination on oil flow meters

DNV GL flow 18DNV GL flow control valve. (Image source: DNV GL)DNV GL is now starting phase II of a joint industry project (JIP) on single phase flow meters to examine the impact of phase-contaminated oil flow

Phase II of this JIP will focus on the influence of the oil fluid properties. This will involve testing different single phase flow metering technologies in oil and water liquid flow with small fractions of gas.

The test matrix used will be jointly defined by DNV GL and the JIP participants and will utilise the capabilities of the DNV GL Multiphase Flow Laboratory in Groningen, The Netherlands.

“Accurate measurement of the production of oil fields is an important means of reducing the financial risks that exploration and production (E&P) companies face in allocation processes. Yet more and more we see the application of single phase flow meters in phase-contaminated oil flows despite limited evidence of their performance. 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,” said DNV GL.

Phase I of the JIP demonstrated that the operating pressure and the type of gas were less relevant for the performance of ultrasonic and Coriolis meters. The type of contamination and its interaction with the continuous phase determined the bias of the flow meter technologies.

“The flow regime is the most important factor which is expected to be dominated by the fluid properties of the oil. Phase II of the JIP will focus on the effect of the oil properties and therefore it is foreseen to test with two different oil types. Data and analysis from the tests will be available confidentially to JIP participants,” DNV GL noted.

Dennis van Putten, principal specialist multiphase flow metering at DNV GL - Oil and Gas, who was part of the phase 1 JIP team, said, “Next to the flow conditions, the expected dominant parameters for the performance of these single-phase meters are the physical properties of the oil. The lessons learned in phase I provided a solid foundation for the proposed phase II project.”

Ben Oudman, regional manager for Central Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa at DNV GL – Oil and Gas, stated, “As companies look to balance costs in their exploration and production activities, this project is helping the industry to understand the performance of metering systems that can really mitigate the large financial risks present in production allocation systems.”

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