6 Operational Benefits of Multiphase Flow Meters in Unconventional Oil Production

by | May 29, 2020 | Flow, Measurement Instrumentation

Maggie Schmidt

Flow Marketing Communications Manager / Blogger

multiphase-flow-meterThe needs of unconventional oil production are uniquely complex and require contemporary solutions to maximize the efficiency and safety of operations. Shale oil production is made possible by the advanced technology of cutting-edge wellhead monitoring and metering solutions. As the age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) evolves, new ways to connect and enhance these solutions facilitate better performance and optimization than ever before. One giant leap forward for unconventional shale is breakthrough multiphase flow meter technology specifically designed with the needs of shale field flow profiles in mind. Emerson’s Roxar 2600 Multiphase Flow Meter (MPFM) is transforming the industry with the most sophisticated, cost-effective design on the market today.

The Top 6 Benefits of the Roxar 2600 Multiphase Flow Meter:

1. A Smaller Footprint with No Moving Parts

Multiphase flow meters allow for continuous flow measurement direct from the wellhead, eliminating the need for test separators, which periodically redirect the flow from production to check rates. These test separator systems require a much larger footprint to achieve complete separation and measurement of oil, water, and gas. There are many components to these systems, and moving parts like those in a turbine flow meter can break down, increasing maintenance costs and downtime.

With the Roxar 2600 MPFM, everything is measured directly in the multiphase flow line. Not only does this significantly reduce space requirements, but it also dramatically reduces your points of failure overall. Less physical troubleshooting at the well pads and fewer spare parts to keep on hand mean reducing exposure to hazards in the field and considerable savings on maintenance costs.

2. Agility and Adaptability

The modular capability of multiphase flow meters makes them especially suitable for unconventional oil production. The compact design allows for simple, straightforward installation and is effective throughout the lifetime of the well. Replacing the test separators with a one-meter-per-wellhead solution affords flexibility as fields mature and conditions change. One size is adaptable for operations on most wells in the shale basin, so there is no need for customized line sizes. Assets can be reused or reallocated at multiple locations.

Due to its field-replaceable venturi offering, the Roxar 2600 MPFM has the range to operate across most of the shale field, cutting down on capital investments at the well pad by more than 50 percent. The smaller size and modularity mean you have an agile, scalable solution to fit the specific needs of unconventional fields.

3. Instantaneous Performance Results

Traditionally, if you were going to make adjustments to optimize your production from the well (implementing an artificial lift, for example), you could not see how those changes affected your performance during the pre-implementation stage. Legacy technology, like test separators, requires time for the separation to occur, delaying and dampening your data.

An inline multiphase flow meter provides instantaneous real-time production data. As soon as you make any changes to the well, you see immediate results. Optimization is only possible when you can tell how production has shifted as a result of the adjustments you make and if the change is positive or negative. If the results aren’t what you intended, you need to know as soon as possible so corrections can be implemented. None of this is possible without instantaneous real-time production data.

4. Rapidly Pinpoint and Mitigate Upsets

Investigating and pinpointing anomalies becomes much more straightforward with real-time production data as well. Unexpected water from a well due to cross-fracking, for example, will be instantly identified and analyzed. Time-stamped, high-resolution data enables you to pinpoint when the breakthrough occurred to help you determine the cause and mitigate potential downstream issues.

Compared to test separators where upsets mean time spent traveling to the well, performing a visual inspection in the field, and then troubleshooting the issues, the Roxar 2600 MPFM brings about a new paradigm in operational efficiency.

5. Remote Connectivity

Part of the IIoT digital revolution, the Roxar 2600 MPFM utilizes secure connectivity technologies from Emerson’s Plantweb™ digital ecosystem for remote configuration and monitoring capabilities. With this capacity, an operator can connect to every multiphase flow meter in the field from anywhere in the world, whether that’s a home or office – or even on the go. Not only can an operator access all production data without spending hours driving to and from the site, but he or she can also monitor the health of the meter.

While legacy technology required regular, periodic visual inspections to ensure healthy system function, it’s now possible to gain continuous visibility into meter health through remote performance monitoring that leverages the PlantwebSecure First Mile™ connectivity – scalable, proven IT architectures that facilitate the secure transfer of data, in this case from Roxar 2600 Multiphase Flow Meters to Emerson’s experts, who then interpret data and provide actionable recommendations.

6. Performance Monitoring Assistance from the Experts

Saving one of the best benefits on this list for last, we can’t talk about the full advantages of the Roxar 2600 MPFM without mentioning its remote performance monitoring capability. This means you do not need to be an expert in multiphase flow meters to make the most of your Roxar 2600 MPFMs. Rather, Emerson’s seasoned team of experts can guide you, as part of Emerson Connected Services. Through remote performance monitoring for your Roxar 2600 MPFMs, the Emerson Connected Services team can observe meter health, assist with troubleshooting any upsets, and provide proactive maintenance recommendations to keep your operations running smoothly.

Taking remote performance monitoring to new heights, Emerson Connected Services empowers your operators to more effectively analyze their data and make the most informed decisions to optimize performance and maintenance strategies.

If you are interested in learning more, contact your flow solutions specialist to answer any questions you have regarding multiphase flow meters in unconventional oil production.

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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.