Multiphase Flow Metering Gaining Acceptance in Upstream Oil & Gas Applications
Keywords: Digital Oilfield, Production Optimization, Multiphase Flow Metering, Flow Metering, Well Monitoring, Flow Assurance, Well Testing, Fiscal Metering.
As mentioned in previous ARC Advisory Group reports, a number of owner-operators in the upstream oil & gas sector, particularly those with significant offshore production assets, are looking to multiphase flowmetering (MPFM) technology as the "holy grail." Accurately measuring multi-phase flow is challenging under any circumstances, but particularly so in today's increasingly demanding offshore operating environments.
While not all industry participants are convinced that today's multiphase/multi-component flowmetering solutions represent a practical and/or cost-effective solution due to measurement un-certainty, initial cost, and other concerns, the technology has clearly been gaining traction since its introduction in the early 1990s. This is due to both technical maturity and efforts by independent third parties to validate accuracy. Energy companies such as Statoil, PDVSA, BP, and Petrobras are deploying multi-phase flowmeters on a broad scale to be able to continuously measure the individual components in co-mingled oil, gas, and water streams.
As part of our ongoing coverage of the digital oilfield, ARC has been investigating both the technical and market issues surrounding this still-emerging technology. Most MPFM solutions today employ multiple sensor technologies to provide true physical multiphase flow measurements, with the most popular combination being differential pressure across Venturi and a gamma ray attenuation.
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