ABB and Arundo Analytics have created the first virtual flow metering solution for the oil and gas industry
While a wealth of production information is now at operators’ fingertips, many still do not have an exact figure for flow rates from their wells. Traditionally, the flow of water gas and oil has been determined using conventional methods after the flow has passed through test separators, but the data offered may become less accurate as flow changes and can be unhelpful in aiding proactive optimisation.
Multiphase flow meters (MPFMs) offer a potential alternative, allowing operators to measure all well contents at once. However, installing and operating MPFMs is expensive, and although the information is valuable, it may not be economically viable in some assets. Moreover, the information may not be available in real time.
Yet new digital technologies may offer an alternative method. Arundo Analytics – a software company using advanced analytics in heavy industry – has signed a new partnership with automation and control group ABB to create the first cloud-based “virtual multiphase flow meters” for use in the offshore oil and gas industry. Speaking at an Oslo press briefing attended by InnovOil, the two companies described the service as “flow metering without installing a flow meter.”
Now available as part of the ABB Ability portfolio, the system uses ABB’s physical modelling and simulations in tandem with Arundo’s Composer and Fabric software to provide real-time data on well production, by modelling flows of individual phases of various intermingled fluids in a single stream – all without any additional hardware. The service is primed using data from well profiles, choke characteristics, sensor locations, PVT data/fluid compositions from lab tests, as well as recent well test results and historical data from the previous 3 months (or more) of operations. This is then combined with live system pressure and operation data from both up- and downstream of the choke, as well as the choke opening position and downhole pressure and temperature, if available, to accurately calculate flow rates.
The resulting rates are then displayed in the user’s ABB Ability dashboard.
“Our customers are demanding lower purchase, installation, and ongoing support costs in their operations. Using the scalable Arundo software to combine physical models with the latest in data science and machine learning, we are able to bring a number of innovative, cloud-based data-driven applications to the oil & gas industry,” said ABB group vice president for Offshore Oil & Gas Digital Espen Storkaas.
Because it uses largely existing data the service can be deployed and scaled very quickly, with no additional hardware required. As a cloud-based solution, it also allows for remote connection, meaning the dashboard can be accessed anywhere with an internet link.
“Arundo’s software is purpose-built for taking desktop-based analytical models into live, online environments in just minutes. This collaboration will give the industry more transparency into their operations while also supporting with the need to find cost efficient, reliable solutions,” added Arundo co-founder and commercial lead Mogens Mathiesen.