EMPIR helps improve measurements to support subsea oil and gas production

Drilling for oil

Multiphase flow measurement is a fundamental enabling capability in subsea oil and gas production. However, prior to the work of this project, field measurements exhibited high measurement uncertainty, costing the industry billions of euros each year in financial exposure and production inefficiencies.

Completed EMPIR project Multiphase flow reference metrology (16ENG07, MultiFlowMet II) applied the harmonised approach to multiphase flow measurements developed in the earlier EMRP project Multiphase flow metrology in oil and gas production  (ENG58, MultiFlowMet) to an enlarged network of laboratories, covering a wider range of flow conditions with applications across a wider range of multiphase meter types. This will lead to lower uncertainty measurements and greater confidence in the deployment of multiphase metering technology. Such technology is a vital component of subsea engineering, the most economically effective means of exploiting new oil and gas reserves at the lowest possible cost.


Achievements from the project include:

  • Project partner TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory provided input to the publication of ISO/TS 21354 Multiphase Flow Measurement. This is the first ISO Technical Standard in the use of multiphase flow measurements for over 40 years of developments.
  • The project has created an enlarged, comparable network of 3 multiphase flow measurement reference facilities with an enduring measurement capability. Project participants TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory, DNV GL and NORCE can now provide oil and gas operators (the instrumentation end-users) and instrumentation developers with improved confidence in the testing and reference measurement infrastructure. Based on the findings of the project’s intercomparison of multiphase flow meters (between NEL, DNV GL and NORCE) NEL has updated their new advanced multiphase facility for end users.
  • Two Good Practice Guides were published on: 1) the acquisition of experimental data for the determination of multiphase flow patterns and 2) minimising uncertainty of laboratory flow reference measurement. These are available on the project web page (Please note: documents are stored on Google Drive).
  • Three technical reports on: 1) Enduring Measurement Capability 2) Small Scale experimental and 3) Full Scale experimental research. These are available on the project webpage (Please note: documents are stored on Google Drive).

NEL has already begun to exploit some of the findings of this project, such as the importance of phase transitions in flow loop uncertainty budgets, and applied it to their new Advanced Multiphase Facility uncertainty budget. There have already been two multiphase factory acceptance tests carried out with this upgraded uncertainty budget with end users being Saipem, Kuwait Oil Company and ExxonMobil.

Multiphase Technical Lead Dr Zak Latif from NEL said

'To overcome the high measurement uncertainty in multiphase field measurements, a reference measurement capability that is consistent and comparable across different test laboratories is required. This project addressed this need by establishing harmonisation of measurements between different multiphase flow reference laboratories.’

EMPIR projects are co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.­

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