WOODBRIDGE, UK --A pan-industry group in the UK has signed up to a two-year project to develop a slug control system. According to host Pera, severe multiphase slugging flow leads to production losses worldwide of up to $11.2 billion per year.
The problem is particularly bad in mature oilfield operations in areas such as the North Sea. As an oil well ages, the mix of gas and fluids in flow lines induces large pressure and production fluctuations, causing operational hazards or damage.
Conventional mitigation techniques involve slowing oil extraction, resulting typically in production losses of up to 10%. The consortium, which includes Chevron North Sea and Cranfield University, aim to counteract this problem via platform-based instrumentation coupled with special alogorithms and software, to provide timely detection and control of slugs on offshore installations.