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Flowrate metering of heavy oil production from Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) wells has long been conducted with equipment, e.g., test separators, not actually designed for surface conditions that reflect temperatures above 390°F (200°C). Nor are they designed for a fourth phase (steam), or for emulsions made difficult to predict by changing properties formed by water in equilibrium with steam and highly viscous oil.
Operators need accurate SAGD flowrate measurements to satisfy a number of crucial requirements, including the optimum well spacing, well length, steam injection, lift efficiency, and meeting rules for reporting to regulatory agencies. These accurate flow measurements also are necessary for validating the reservoir model and its predictions and optimizing the production from steam injection to gas lift injection or downhole pump settings. Multiphase FlowMeters (MFM) provide better accuracy, much improved understanding of flow dynamics in real time, and demonstrate the ability to conduct more frequent well tests compared to data from conventional test separators.
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