A Study of the Orifice Well Tester and Critical Flow Prover
- Louis B. Lesem (Texas Petroleum Research Committee) | John J. McKetta Jr. (Texas Petroleum Research Committee) | George H. Fancher (Texas Petroleum Research Committee)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 1957
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 61 - 64
- 1957. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.6.8 Well performance, inflow performance
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The proration of oil produced in the field frequently is based partially or entirely upon the gas-oil ratio of wells. The measurement of the gas-oil ratio is one of the more important field tests in regulatory and proration work, and the test always should be conducted according to standardized methods and procedure.
Obviously, the gas-oil ratio and the volume of gas produced by a well depend upon many factors but should be independent of the method of measurement and of the devices used to measure gas and oil. Consequently, the volume of gas accompanying a barrel of oil produced by a well may be measured by any reliable and accurate device or instrument. Frequently either a critical flow prover or an orifice well tester is used for this purpose, and for a particular well the same rate of flow of gas should be obtained regardless of whether a critical flow prover or an orifice well tester is employed in the test.
In Texas, when using either instrument, either Capacity Table 1 or 5 is employed in making the necessary computations. If the tables are used, a discrepancy always is found whenever the two instruments are compared by extrapolation to the same conditions of flow. Clearly, Tables 1 and 5 must be at fault in some respects.
The orifice well tester and the Bureau of Mines type of critical flow prover are essentially the same instrument; both devices utilize a square-edged orifice 1/8 in. in diameter as the primary element, and both freely discharge gas to the atmosphere.
Tables for the orifice well tester have been published in the ranges of 0 to 15 in. of water and 0 to 40 in. of mercury (Hg) differential in pressure. Coefficients for the critical flow prover have been published for differentials in pressure greater than 75 psia.
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