Energy consulting and testing and certification company DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability has announced the opening of its Multiphase Flow Laboratory (MPFL) in Groningen, the Netherlands, which will allow equipment manufacturers and oil and gas companies to test, validate, and calibrate multiphase technologies, such as separators and flowmeters, for the production of oil and gas, and the measurement and trading of gas.
The MPFL facility aims to help raise the accuracy of multiphase flowmeters, as well as the efficiency of multiphase separators. Through these efforts, DNV KEMA expects that the economical and operational risks of oil and gas fields can be better managed. With the MPFL, DNV KEMA says it is responding to the increasing global demand for and supply of gas.
The company says technology development is one of the key drivers in optimizing and enabling growth of the upstream markets, which are facing challenges with cost control in the production of gas and oil fields.
On the supply side, the production of gases in deep waters, oil sands, and shale formations is complex and needs proven 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 contractual requirements.
Meanwhile, on the demand side, DNV KEMA says the rise in the use of gas — in particular liquefied natural gas (LNG) — 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.
DNV KEMA’s manager for the MPFL, Ronald ten Cate, in a statement, said: “A number of techniques exist for making multiphase flow measurements, but the technology is still immature and equipment needs to be developed further. Customer feedback told us this development was being held back by a lack of suitable facilities for testing new products. A number of customers have already been contracted or have shown their interest in our new laboratory. In this respect, we have a strong ambition to develop new products and services for the medium and long term globally.”
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 conditions equipment 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.
DNV KEMA specializes in technical consultancy, testing, inspection and certification, risk management, and verification for organizations along the energy value chain, including producers, suppliers and end-users of energy, equipment manufacturers, as well as government bodies, corporations, and non-governmental organizations. DNV KEMA is part of DNV, a global provider of services for managing risk with more than 10,000 employees in over 100 countries.