Multiphase Metering for Onshore Oil and Gas Wells

Emerson's Lars Anders Ruden

U.S. oil production, led by shale production, “…could pass 9.9 million barrels per day in December 2017”, according to Rystad Energy. Oil and gas producers have continued to find ways to reduce capital expenditures on new production and optimize ongoing operational costs.

In an E&P article, Multiphase Metering Advances In Onshore Fields, Emerson’s Lars Anders Ruden describes how offshore production proven multiphase metering technology has been refined for the needs and requirements of onshore well pads.

He opens highlighting some of these unique requirements:

First, there is asset optimization, with a focus on both reservoir and well optimization. To produce as much as possible at the lowest cost, there is a need for operators to know more about what they are producing and at what volumes so they can make adjustments to optimize production.

Second, there is process integrity and safety and the need to track flow assurance and integrity of pipelines. To this end, detecting small changes in water production can play a crucial role in mitigating risk from hydrate and scale formation.

Third, there are transactions and allocations. Many assets have joint ownership structures where it is necessary to accurately establish the volumes from each asset and different pipelines to correctly allocate financial gain and royalty payments.

Finally, there are regulations and government requirements regarding areas such as fiscal metering, reporting and taxation. Such regulations and accuracy requirements can vary widely between countries, states and even owners.

Roxar MPFM 2600 M multiphase flow meter

Roxar MPFM 2600 M multiphase flow meter

Traditionally test separators have been used to separate the fluids into the gas, oil and water components before measuring each component individually. Lars Anders explains that:

…well test separators come with significant equipment infrastructure, instrumentation and associated costs, with well pads often needing a test separator for each well. Such test separators are vulnerable to instrumentation failure and can significantly increase measurement-per-well costs.

Multiphase meters provide continuous measurements of the oil, gas and water components within the flow stream. He describes the Roxar 2600 Multiphase Meter as:

…a new modular family of multiphase flowmeters that can either be one component of an integrated well test system or provide cost-effective standalone wellhead measurement. The fact that such meters are so cost-effective also allows the possibility of allocating one meter per wellhead.

Modular capabilities include:

  • Trending water cut, gas breakthrough and flow rates from a single well installation;
  • Generating high-accuracy flow rates for oil, gas and water over a broader range of applications in a single well installation;
  • Improving meter accuracy and robustness through the addition of a gamma source; and
  • Providing flowback measurements, well-testing and allocation metering in both single-well and multiwell applications.

Read the article for more on generating accurate flow rate and fluid information from wells with wide-ranging characteristics and how this modular multiphase meter addresses these applications. Lars Anders also describes this meter flexibility in a quick 1:29 video, How Modular-Based Multiphase Meters Can Provide Flexibility for the Lifetime of the Well.

You can connect and interact with other oil & gas production and flow measurement experts in the Oil & Gas and Flow groups in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

Posted Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 under Flow, Oil & Gas.

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