Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Petroleum Engineering

Document Type



In the oil and gas industry, reliable and accurate measurements of the amount of oil, gas and water being produced by individual wells is essential. The production revenue for each well is determined from measured flow rates. Measurement of well production can be achieved by using multiphase flow meters on individual wells. However, the use of such metering technique is not always reliable or economical. As an alternative technique to monitoring individual well performance in real-time, multiphase flow simulators together with pressure and temperature sensors located at different locations in the production systems have been recently deployed to estimate individual well flow rates. In the oil and gas industry, this technique has been called Virtual Flow Metering (VFM). In this study, the implementation and performance of commercially available multiphase flow simulators are evaluated using actual field production data. Field measurements from sensors are used which have been installed in various points of the productions system such as in the wellbore bottomhole and wellhead are used. This study is consisted of two parts: i) evaluation of the performance of virtual flow meters (flow models) with actual field data, and ii) evaluate the performance of VFM in different application scenarios such as flow metering backup and well production allocation. The model results are compared to actual flow rates to evaluate the effect of using different number of measuring points of pressure , temperature, and the effect of fluid properties. Although, the VFMs are easy to install, cheap and have low-cost maintenance, they have not been accepted as a replacement to MPFMs so far. This study will also investigate the combination of VFMs and MPFMs as a potential solution for the common problem of MPFMs malfunction and need of frequent calibration due flow assurance problems (such as scale deposition, and significant variations in multiphase flow behavior).



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Waltrich, Paulo J.