NEL Heads Multiphase Standardization Project

NEL, the flow measurement R&D specialist, is leading a research programme that should enhance flow measurement standardisation across Europe between multiphase flow metrology testing facilities.

The new three-year project is part of the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR), the main European programme for the scientific study of measurement.

Called MultiFlowMet II, the project involves 17 global partners, including meter vendors, research specialists and multiphase test laboratories. Project partners include OneSubsea Processing AS, DNV GL and Schlumberger Oilfield, covering the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Singapore and the UK.

Multiphase flow measurement is a fundamental enabling capability in subsea oil and gas production. However, field measurements continue to exhibit high measurement uncertainty, which is costing the oil and gas industry billions of dollars each year in financial exposure and production inefficiencies. MultiFlowMet II will develop a reference measurement capability that is consistent and comparable across the different multiphase flow measurement test laboratories, to improve industry confidence in these essential measurements.

Dr David Crawford, NEL, is the project co-ordinator and said: “The lack of standardised facilities and procedures for testing multiphase flow meters has led to test result variances between laboratories. This project aims to harmonise multiphase flow measurements to better support efficient subsea exploration of new oil and gas reserves, by boosting confidence in both the measurement system and the meters that labs are testing. The project is vital to the future development of oil and gas production as it will drive improvements and enhance confidence in multiphase flow measurement.”

To achieve harmonisation, the research team will roll-out an extended intercomparison testing programme. This will involve the design and provision of a mobile instrumentation suite that can be moved to multiple laboratories in order 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.

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