NEL Helps Oil & Gas Industry Reduce Financial Burden of Heavy Oil Measurement

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NEL, the flow measurement R&D specialist, has developed a novel method for calculating Reynolds numbers in real-time, helping the oil & gas industry to significantly reduce financial exposure of heavy oil flow measurement.

Around 70 per cent of the world's remaining oil reserves are classed as ‘heavy oil', for which current methods of flow measurement have significant difficulty and deliver increased error and uncertainty. NEL estimates that such inaccurate measurement could be costing approximately $56 million per year per meter*. 

The new flow measurement method developed by NEL allows for Reynolds numbers to be tracked in real-time using a differential pressure flow meter, delivering increased confidence in measurement results and fiscal accuracy.

Craig Marshall, Flow Measurement Engineer at NEL, said: “Highly viscous oils are giving the oil & gas industry considerable challenges. The ability to measure Reynolds numbers in real-time is a significant step-change, reducing vulnerability to high uncertainty and increased costs. This method also has the potential to benefit many more industrial sectors where viscous fluids are manufactured.”

NEL developed the method for estimating Reynolds number in real-time supported by the UK's National Measurement System. The method has been proven to deliver more accurate flow measurement results than traditional differential pressure flow meters.

*NEL has shown that eight-inch Venturi tests involving oil flow, mis-measurement errors are worth around $16 million per year at a Reynolds number of 1,000 for a fluid of 200 cSt and $56million for a fluid of 600 cSt (this assumes oil prices of $40/barrel and discharge coefficient of 0.995).


About NEL
NEL is a world-class provider of technical consultancy, research, measurement, testing and flow measurement services to the energy and oil & gas industries, as well as government.

NEL is a global centre of excellence for flow measurement and fluid flow systems and is the National Measurement Institute responsible for the UK's National Flow Measurement Standards. As an international technology services organisation and provider of pipeline fluid management services to the global petroleum industry, NEL has an impressive track record in the development, design and application of new technologies.

NEL is a trading name of TUV SUD Ltd, a company of the TÜV SÜD Group, an international service organisation with over 22,000 employees in more than 800 locations worldwide.

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