Emerson Releases New Software to Boost Process Automation Flow in Gas and Oil Industries

March 07, 2021 by Seth Price

Emerson recently developed new software to aid in the automation and digitization of multi-phase flows in the gas and oil industry.

“The new features offered within the Rapid Adaptive Measurement will enable robust and efficient flow measurement to service increasingly demanding market needs,” mentioned Brandon Bromberek, vice president oil and gas, flow solutions for Emerson’s Automation Solutions business.


Emerson’s Rapid Adaptive Measurement Software

The Rapid Adaptive Measurement software, when paired with an MPFM, may improve confidence in the actual flow rate of gas and liquid.

MPFM, such as the Roxar 2600, attempts to characterize the fluid stream from an oil and gas field. Because the fluid stream can be a combination of water, oil, and natural gas, determining each material's flow is important and challenging to collect accurately. 


Video used courtesy of Emerson


As the petroleum industry branches into more difficult fields to characterize and gets into the oil shale market, these measurements are increasingly important. These fluids must ultimately be separated, but determining the most effective path for separation depends on the stream’s composition.


Challenges with Flow Measurement

The challenge is measuring the flow of at least three different fluids (water, oil, and gas) that have different physical properties with any certainty. The composition of the stream can change rapidly, complicating matters. The reality is that engineers, technicians, and operators cannot be sure about what composition is passing through their pipes at any given instant.

They must operate on confidence intervals and best guesses from flow meters. The MPFM is one tool they can use to determine the composition of this product stream.

Emerson has paired their software with the Roxar 2600 to characterize these product streams. The software collects the data from multiple onboard sensors and calculates a confidence interval based on the flow regime through the system. This gives operators a good understanding of how much water, oil, and gas are in a particular product stream. This calculation is performed at 10 Hz, or 10 times per second, yielding up-to-date information.

This system can perform under annular flow, when natural gas is the primary constituent or under slugging conditions, where blobs of crude oil or water are blasted through the system with the natural gas. A diagram of each is shown below:


Annular flow: mostly gas, relatively easy to characterize. Image used courtesy of Emerson


Slugging Flow: All physical parameters are different from the annual flow and more difficult to characterize. Image used courtesy of Emerson


Emerson Aims for Precision with New Measurement System

The density of the fluid mixture can be used to calculate the volumetric fraction of each constituent. Because this changes over time, the Emerson software can adapt its averaging time to the most appropriate setting:  longer averaging times when the flow is mostly gas and shorter times when there is slugging.

As the petroleum industry branches out into more challenging oil and gas fields, the need to quantify how much water, oil, and gas are present becomes even more critical. 

Emerson’s Rapid Adaptive Measurement system can determine these figures with more precision than ever, giving operators and engineers the data they need to make informed decisions about the process.