ARC’s recently published Multiphase Flow Metering Solutions report made several assumptions in support of its forecast of demand for multiphase flow meter (MPFM) solutions over the next five years. Among them was the belief that adoption of MPFMs would be strongly correlated to the continued testing and validation of the accuracy of said units by various industry bodies (i.e. suppliers’ test facilities, independent testing facilities, etc.) to ensure the units would perform “as advertised” to a customer’s specific operational parameters and the importance of developing industry standards to help lower cost, increase customer confidence and accelerate adoption. Operators are encouraged by the actions taken by certain suppliers and organizations to try and provide greater confidence around the challenging operation of accurate and reliable multiphase component measurement. However, the need to harmonize these various testing initiatives is the next step in the evolution of greater adoption.
A major research study that will enhance flow metrology across Europe is underway. The project, which is being coordinated by NEL, is part of this year’s European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR).
“The ground-breaking project is designed to achieve measurement harmonization between multiphase flow metrology testing facilities,” explains R&D Coordinator, David Crawford. “Called MultiFlowMet II, it involves collaboration with 17 partners, including OneSubea Processing, DNV GL, Schlumberger and other multiphase test labs, meter vendors and research partners covering the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Russia and Singapore.”
The project, which builds on the work done on a preceding EMRP project, has been set up to address the acknowledged lack of standardized facilities (and procedures) for testing multiphase flow meters. It started in June and will run for three years.
“This lack of standardized facilities has led to variances in test results between laboratories,” says David. “The project will help boost confidence in the measurement system, and hence in the meters that are tested. This project is vital to the future development of oil and gas production as it will drive improvements and enhance confidence in multiphase flow measurement, which is a fundamental enabling metrology technology in subsea oil and gas production.”
To achieve harmonization, the research team will roll out an extended inter-comparison testing program. This will involve the design and provision of a mobile suite of instrumentation that can be moved around different laboratories to enable comparison measurements to be taken.
The project is also designed to gain an understanding of the factors that influence multiphase flow measurements, such as the geometrical features of each laboratory and the structure of the flow that develops in each set of flow conditions. For more details, contact David Crawford.
ARC has always been a strong proponent of standards, standardization, testing and the adoption of any technology or work process that will empower the operator to improve their operations, increase employee productivity and/or improve profitability.