Proving Coriolis Flow Measurement for Wellhead Produced Liquids

by , | Sep 17, 2020 | Flow, Oil & Gas

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Flow Control: Wellhead flowmeter pilot test on the Bakken FormationEmerson’s Justin Hollingsworth shared a story of a Bakken shale region oil & gas producer test on the viability of using Coriolis flow meter technology at the wellhead to measure produced liquids. The Flow Control article, Wellhead flowmeter pilot test on the Bakken Formation, highlights the rigorous testing process to prove the robustness and accuracy of this technology for this challenging measurement application.

The testing involved several Coriolis meter suppliers.

Although each Coriolis flowmeter and transmitter were different, they were all tested in one installation, against the same separator on the same well. The trials took place on shale wells in southeast Saskatchewan and heavy oil wells to the west of the territory.

Measuring oil & gas wellhead produced liquids is challenging.

Each oil field and even each well within a field can have different production characteristics, so in order for the test to be representative of future field performance, it is important to test on a diverse set of wells and conditions. Testing was done through summer and winter weather on shale wells, which have lighter oil and produce more gas, in the Bakken and heavy oil wells in western Saskatchewan.

Testing considered both technical and installation challenges. From a technical perspective, testing was:

…primarily based on ensuring that the test was set up properly and that the participants, as well as the producer, could evaluate the measurement device properly without complications or needing additional tools or training.

From an installation perspective, testing considered:

…following best practices for installation for the challenging conditions the wells provided. In many cases, this meant exceeding the generic installation requirements established by the manufacturer, as noted in the installation manual — to know when to point out and guide the producer’s team to size and install the meters using best practices for two-phase or multiphase processes.

Justin highlighted the advantage of Coriolis technology:

…over single-variable flow measurement technologies (e.g., differential pressure) by virtue of the ability to measure density and the advanced diagnostics that are available in the latest electronics. Measuring the liquid density allows the watercut (percent water volume produced) to be calculated if the oil and water density are known, and the advanced diagnostics allow the meter to detect when gas is in the meter, interfering with the liquid density measurement.

Read the article for addition challenges such as beam pump induced pulsating flow, the pilot test solution, initial results and the success factors that led to the selection of the supplier and their Coriolis flow meter technology. Visit the Coriolis Flow Meters for Mass, Volume, & Density section on Emerson.com for more on Micro Motion Coriolis meters and the wide range of applications they can serve. You can also connect and interact with other flow measurement experts in the Measurement Instrumentation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.