Modular Multiphase Oil and Gas Well Flow Metering

With many oil and gas producers facing tighter margins due to prices, any capital and operational expenditures must be closely scrutinized. To maximize the life and production rates of the well and improve reservoir decision-making, it is important to characterize and understand reservoirs and access accurate production information. Multiphase flow meters, measure oil, gas and water cuts can aid in supplying production information accuracy.

Measuring the oil, gas and water content has traditionally been performed with test separators. Well testing by periodically routing a well through a test separator results in sporadic data and causes interruption of the flow. In addition, test lines, manifolds and test separators add significantly to the overall cost of the development of an oil field. Multiphase flow meters can help eliminate the need for expensive well testing contracts, test lines and manifolds.

The costs of deploying one multiphase meter per well has been much less feasible in a low oil & gas price environment. Yet, multiphase meters and the ability to accurately measure the flow rates of oil, gas and water in real-time still represent one of the best means of improving well efficiencies and the cost-effective delivery of oil & gas.

Emerson's Patrick Babka


Emerson’s Patrick Babka described how the Roxar MPFM 2600 M multiphase flow meter is designed to help operators manage costs and increase efficiency while enhancing production and making smaller fields more viable. The multiphase meter is designed to continuously monitor an individual well stream allowing operators to optimize production with a minimum of cost and interruptions.

The purpose of this new modular multiphase meter is to bridge this cost gap—bringing down the costs of deployment but at the same time providing operators with direct and continuous multiphase flow monitoring at the wellhead. In this way, the ideal scenario of one multiphase meter per wellhead might still be economically feasible.

Roxar MPFM 2600 M multiphase flow meter

Roxar MPFM 2600 M multiphase flow meter

Oil & gas producers can monitor their wells with these inline, full bore, non-intrusive metering devices for gas breakthrough, water break through and increase or decrease of their liquid and gas flow rates. The family of modular meters are based on a proven technology platform but can be broken down into customizable configurations to meet producers’ changing field requirements. These include:

  • a meter with a venturi to extend the operating range of Gas Void Fractions (GVF-the ratio of the flow area occupied by the gas to the total flow area) to 100%
  • a meter with a compact gamma system for reduced uncertainty
  • a formation water salinity measurement system when saline water is a major threat to production—in wet gas fields for instance
  • a special operating mode for wet gas wells

The end result is that oil & gas producers can increase efficiencies while enhancing production, make marginal fields more viable, and ensure that the one multiphase meter per well vision is a step closer to becoming a reality worldwide.

Visit the newly designed Emerson Automation Solutions website for more on these multiphase meters. If you’ll be attending the October 24-28 conference here in Austin, make sure to catch the Direct Wellhead Measurements for Well Testing in Harsh Economic Environments workshop. You can also connect and interact with other flow measurement experts in the Flow group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.