Measuring Oil Flow Rates Using Standard Oil-Gas Separators
- H.P. De Wit (Compania Shell de Venezuela)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1960
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 30 - 34
- 1960. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.3.4 Scale
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Methods are described of measuring flow rates and total liquid produced from oil wells using standard oil-gas separators. These methods are now used for normal production controls in several fields by Compania Shell de Venezuela.
The development of the weight-type metering separator used for well gauging of foamy crude during the past four years is described.
The object of this type of metering is to increase both frequency and accuracy of well gauging in the field and, at the same time, to reduce labor costs and capital investment on new installations.
For continuous optimum production in an oil field, frequent and reliable individual well gauges, in addition to accurate bulk production measurements, are essential.
In those fields which have a large number of wells, however, because of restricted manpower it is not always possible to realize either the accuracy or the frequency of well gauging necessary for the most efficient running of the field.
All metering systems on the market based on the volume principle are not very suitable for our types of heavy viscous crudes because too much gas stays trapped in the oil and results in inaccurate readings.
In an attempt to improve the accuracy of well gauging operations, while at the same time reducing manpower and installation costs, experiments were initiated during 1954 to ascertain whether this could be achieved satisfactorily by counting and registering automatically on a chart the number of filling stages over a certain period of time of a standard vertical separator of known dimensions. A method was finally developed whereby it is possible to record the time to fill a vertical separator between predetermined levels and, at the same time, to record the weight of crude in each filling stage on a differential pressure chart, thus allowing the average throughput of crude through the separator to be calculated.
To date, this method has proved satisfactory and is used with success for both well gauging and bulk measurement of crude in block stations.
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