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Module A: The World Market for Watercut Meters

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(Adjunct study to The World Market for Multiphase Flowmeters - www.FlowMulltiphase.com, to be published July 2016)


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Articles about Multiphase Flowmeters

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About the Watercut Meter study

Our focus on flow has recently been on the emerging development of multiphase flowmeter technologies. Developments here are of particular value in the oil & gas industry, an industry that we routinely report on as part of our world view of measurement applications. In Module A, we take a closer view of watercut meters, which have been a mainstay within the oil and gas industries for decades. 

The demand for better accuracy in the measurement of this critical ratio has been driven by three primary factors: 1) the need to have reliable data to effectively manage each well; 2) the need for predictive information to plan for secondary recovery investments; and, 3) the emergence of and growth in new field drilling techniques such as directional drilling and line pooling. 

The three drivers cited above all exist within the context of an increase in more difficult offshore and subsea exploration & production, as well as the new plays in shale/sand oil and gas production. Today’s depressed oil and gas prices – while not likely a long term concern – are evidence of the market volatility and economic peril that well operators will encounter in the short and medium terms. 

And, in addition to user demands for improved product performance, watercut meter manufacturers are also beginning to see the encroachment of alternative technologies such as multiphase flowmeters. Multiphase flowmeters have held the promise of reducing the total number of components an operator needs to properly evaluate wellhead flows, and are closer than ever to fulfilling that promise. 

For further information on Module A: The World Market for Watercut Meters, please see the study page, and download the Overview provided above.

The Basics: Multiphase Flowmeters

Most applications measure one type of flow, either liquid, gas, or steam.  This is called single phase flow measurement.  However, a need has now developed to measure fluids with more than one phase.  This measurement is of multiphase flow, and it primarily occurs in the oil & gas industry.   

When fluid initially comes out of a well, it often consists of a mixture of oil, gas, and water.  While these different fluids are typically separated into their individual components at separators near the wellhead, it is also sometime advantageous to measure the fluid before it is separated.  A group of flowmeters have been developed to do this, and they are called multiphase flowmeters.

Multiphase flowmeters are used for multiple purposes, including custody transfer, well testing, and allocation metering. One disadvantage of these meters is that they are extremely expensive, so they tend to be used mainly on high producing wells.  Not all wells produce enough oil or natural gas to justify the expense of a multiphase meter.  While there are still a limited number of suppliers, this is an area that bears watching, especially considering the high price of oil and the continually expanding search for sources of energy.  

Previously a module associated with both the Gas Flow and Oil Flow studies, the Multiphase study is now independent. To read about multiphase in the previous oil study, click this link, Oil Study Overview, and see the Module E section.

About the Gas Flow Measurement and Oil Flow Measurement Studies  

Both The World Market for Gas Flow Measurement, all new 3rd Edition, and The World Market for Oil Flow Measurement feature a core flow measurement study and modules that can be ordered as add-on or standalone reports. For further information, please see:

The World Market for Gas Flow Measurement, 3rd Edition

The World Market for Oil and Oil Flow Measurement

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