DNV KEMA’s Open Multiphase Flow Lab
Energy consulting, testing and certification company DNV KEMA will open a new Multiphase Flow Laboratory (MPFL) in Groningen, the Netherlands. The facility will allow equipment manufactures and oil and gas companies to test, validate and calibrate multiphase technologies – e.g. separators and flow meters – for the production of oil and gas and the measurement and trading of gas. As the MPFL is operating in a unique true-to-life environment, the facility will help increasing the accuracy of future multiphase flow meters, as well as the efficiency of future multiphase separators. As a result, it is expected that the economical and operational risks of oil and gas fields can be better managed. With the MPFL, DNV KEMA responds to the increasing global demand for and supply of gas.
The production of gases in deep waters, oil sands or shale formations is complex and needs high-tech equipment. As oil and gas wells typically output a fluid mixture composed of oil, natural gas, (salt) water and even sand, plant operators need to know the actual flow rates of these fluids to ensure that the gas and oil quality meet the contractual requirements. Multiphase technologies help to determine these flows. By improving multiphase technologies, the technical and financial reliability of oil and gas production will increase. As a result, the downtime of production plants can be limited, the integrity and safety of the local oil and gas infrastructures improved and the lifetime of an oil and gas field extended.
On the demand side, there is a growing need for gas – in particular Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) – for the generation of power and the fuelling of growing economies. This will lead to higher intercontinental gas trading and transmission volumes. As small deviations of large measured volumes cause financial risks, the accuracy of gas meters is crucial. The MPFL is capable of validating and calibrating multiphase flow meters to ensure the quality of the measurements.
DNV KEMA has invested in the upgrade of the existing “wet gas” closed loop facility to a full Multiphase flow test lab. It will be capable of recreating the kind of conditions equipment would face in the field. This includes a full range of multiphase fluid compositions at realistic temperatures, pressures and flow rates. It will also accelerate industry efforts to develop standards for equipment and testing protocols.