A new Joint Industry Project (JIP) has been launched to establish the true performance of water cut-meters used in the upstream oil and gas sector. The project aims to help reduce financial exposure in production monitoring and fiscal reporting.
“This JIP is being launched to provide independent benchmarking and performance testing of the different water cut technologies currently on the market,” says Principal Consultant, Dr Bruno Pinguet. “The research is vital due to the limited capability of test laboratories around the world, water-cut meters are being widely used outside their qualified operating envelope. The lack of test standards and capable test facilities has led to high levels of uncertainty when they are used in upstream oil and gas applications.”
The meters will be tested under realistic flow conditions including wet gas and multiphase flows and using different grades of oils ranging from synthetics to heavy crudes. The research will take place at TUV SUD NEL’s Advanced Multiphase Facility. The facility, the first of its kind in the world, will allow testing at wide-ranging flowrates under high operating pressures and temperatures. In particular, it will allow the evaluation of water cut meters at the conditions in which they are used in the field.”
According to Bruno, water-cut meters have undergone major developments over recent years to support the changing needs of the upstream oil and gas sector.
“Many of these changes have arisen from industry’s shift to subsea oil and gas production in deep water fields,” he says. “As a result, water-cut meters are being subjected to more complex and wide-ranging flow conditions than they originally experienced in upstream applications.”
The project team is now looking for participants from leading oil and gas companies to take part in the research.
Water-cut meters are used to measure the water content (cut) of recovered hydrocarbons. This helps provide information on the level of hydrocarbons extracted for accounting purposes and for allocation measurement when developers share pipelines. Water-cut meters now play a critical role at the frontline and are considered an enabler to subsea production. They also allow optimisation at the wellhead and play a major role in managing flow assurance issues.
It is hoped that the meters for the tests will be sourced in May 2019 and that the first phase of testing will start in August, with Phase 1 results scheduled to be released in October.
For more details, contact Bruno Pinguet.