A new real-time software tool has been developed by TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory (NEL) for the verification of subsea multiphase flow meters (MPFM), designed to help operators optimize reservoir management and revenues.

As the oil and gas industry exploits deeper fields, routine calibration is unviable due to the excessive cost of removing subsea MPFMs for laboratory-based validation. While MPFMs are calibrated before installation, laboratory-based flow regimes differ greatly to actual subsea conditions. Consequently, over time Source: TÜV SÜD Source: TÜV SÜD significant measurement errors result in fiscal loss for both operators and taxation authorities.

The new NEL-SURE system provides in-situ, continuous calibration of MPFMs and uses a traffic light system to alert operators to a meter’s health. The software can also accommodate a virtual meter to provide a secondary measurement for verification of the MPFM’s output. This will help to improve process and control decision making, increase productivity and safety, and reduce environmental impacts through the early identification of potential system failures.

Marc Laing, head of software and modeling at NEL, said: “While industry relies on MPFMs as inaccessible reservoirs are exploited, the lack of validation possibilities has impacted the accurate allocation and taxation of hydrocarbon assets. The challenge is to take the calibration process from the laboratory and move it to the ‘in-situ’ location. This will ensure that flow meter verification accounts for the different effects of pressure, temperature and fluids at each individual well, allowing operators to have ongoing confidence in the measurements.

“NEL-SURE meets this challenge by reducing financial exposure and delivering operators increased confidence in the deployment and use of MPFMs. These intelligent meter health checks will save industry millions of pounds per year from unnecessary calibrations, maintenance and shutdowns.”

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