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NEL develops new method for calculating Reynolds numbers

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

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

Around 70% 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 US$56 million/y/m. NEL has shown that eight in. Venturi tests involving oil flow, mis-measurement errors are worth around US$16 million/y at a Reynolds number of 1000 for a fluid of 200 centistokes (cSt) and US$56 million for a fluid of 600 cSt (this assumes oil prices of US$40/bbl and discharge coefficient of 0.995).

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 and 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.

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