Multiphase Flowmeters Reduce Capex and Opex, Enhance Flow Assurance in Unconventionals | Schlumberger
Industry Article
Bertrand Theuveny and Katherine Moncada, Schlumberger
World Oil
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Flow Assurance Unconventional Resources Reservoir Sampling & Analysis Well Testing Capital Efficiency

Multiphase Flowmeters Reduce Capex and Opex, Enhance Flow Assurance in Unconventionals

Operators replacing traditional per-well metering separators with single, surface multiphase flowmeters in their unconventional wells see benefits beyond accurate production accounting. In addition to significant CAPEX and OPEX savings, this approach tackles flow assurance challenges typically encountered during production.

The need for monitoring individual well production is becoming increasingly essential in unconventional field operations. The drivers behind this need are related primarily to accurate reporting for production allocation between wells. In North American unconventional operations, the main driver for meter-per-well flowrate monitoring is accurate per-well production accounting, due to the complexity of landowner interests. As operators seek better ways to account their production, they see several additional benefits from replacing traditional separators with multiphase flowmeters for produced fluid measurement.

Specific flow assurance challenges can be encountered in unconventional field production. The use of multiphase flowmeters can help diagnose and mitigate such challenges. Early detection is a critical factor, but more importantly, proper understanding of the impact of the commingling of fluids produced from various wells in the same pad can allow optimization of the chemical injection to mitigate the issue. The nature of fluid heterogeneities, high variability of production conditions, and variability of the production life of various wells, coproduced in the same pad and commingled into the same flowlines and process system, lead to unexpected flow assurance issues in shale oil and gas production.

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Vx Spectra flowmeter
Installation of the surface multiphase flowmeter in a Texas oil field.
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