SPE Online Education
Smart Production Monitoring Enabled by Virtual Well Metering
Includes a Live Event on 04/25/2019 at 1:00 PM (EDT)
Virtual Metering technology has been used in offshore oil and gas wells for over a decade with great success. They provide a cost-effective, yet reliable solution to monitor production continuously. They also serve as ready back-up to “physical” multiphase meters, which are both expensive and less reliable.
On one asset that has been producing for over 18 years, Virtual Metering enabled reliable production metering, where it was previously not possible to do any type of well testing. In this case, the production metering process was successful because the Virtual Metering utilized multiple methods to predict flowrates and was able to keep predicting accurate flowrates, even as various pressure/temperature measurements / sensors in and around the wells failed over time.
Another key component to the successful implementation of virtual meters is to leverage all data, including export meters, to calibrate the system. However, calibration presents unique challenges, especially in situations in which multiple wells are commingled and measured at a common meter. Recent advances in Data Analytics present a great opportunity to simplify the complex calibration challenge. On a recent project, several of the physical subsea multiphase meters were not performing reliably, and the back-up virtual meters required a higher level of accuracy (i.e., >99%), as these meters were used for allocation purposes. With only one export meter available as a point of calibration, Data Analytics was used to automate the complex calibration process that led to more than an 80% reduction in calibration times. These developments and advanced in the technology has allowed the Virtual Metering software to be scalable for application on vast networks such as shale well and coal seam gas, in addition to conventional producing assets.
Lastly, Virtual Metering technology has proven to be an excellent backup to full multiphase meters on each well. Because Virtual Metering facilitates improved visualization of the whole field’s production performance, the users can determine if there are any biases in each individual multiphase meters and actually helps improve the accuracy of these “physical meters”.
Dr. Dale Erickson
Technical Authority and Technology Development Lead, Wood
Dr. Erickson serves as the Technical Authority and Technology Development Lead for Wood’s Intelligent Operations group the Automation & Control business. At Wood he has pioneered the development of real-time, transient, multiphase flow simulators, leak detection systems, and control / optimization software for platforms / pipelines and has written most of the core code for the multiphase pipeline simulator. In addition, he has been involved in numerous technical studies involving transient multiphase flow and dynamic process modelling. Since 1996, has had a significant role in over 100 projects, by providing functional design, detailed design approval, trouble shooting, tuning, quality review and testing and technical supervision. He worked in the area of flow assurance by writing the first version of the Colorado School of Mines Hydrate program in 1983; then developed high accuracy equations of state in conjunction with NIST in Boulder, Colorado while getting his PhD from Rice University. He co-developed a thermal soil model enhancement and a bundle model enhancement for OLGA, and developed the first commercial model for paraffin formation. He has recently developed a model of SAGD well pad, including reservoir modelling and steam and production tubing.
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