Schlumberger Intros Multiphase Flowmetering for Heavy Oil Production

Schlumberger announced today the first ever application of multiphase flowmetering technology for steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) wells.

"Multiphase flow measurement is a new service for heavy oil and bitumen SAGD production," said Dr. Bruno Pinguet, multiphase domain champion, Schlumberger. "Extreme operating conditions such as high temperatures, unpredictable emulsion properties and a fourth phase steam have, until now, meant this type of flow monitoring was not possible with conventional technology in thermal heavy oil operations."

The multiphase flowmeter uses Vx technology to measure the flowrate of each phase from the wellhead without the need for time-consuming separation tests. Vx technology is available in the Schlumberger PhaseTester portable multiphase well testing equipment or PhaseWatcher fixed multiphase well production monitoring equipment. The technology enables better understanding of the production dynamics of SAGD wells operated with high-temperature electric submersible pumps (ESP).

SAGD wells represent a new application extension for the field-proven Vx technology. As Schlumberger develops new services for heavy oil production, this test marks the first-ever multiphase metering operation in SAGD applications, and demonstrates the production optimization potential of this technology for more viscous oils. The test was completed at the site of a Canadian operator, Suncor Energy, in Alberta, Canada.