Hydrate measurement technologies for flow assurance

Presentation given at Flow Assurance 2015 – Design and Operations of Multiphase Systems in Larvik 2015

Formation of gas hydrate plugs is carefully avoided in the oil and gas industry. Hydrate inhibitor injection is the main method to prevent formation of hydrate in transport pipelines during operation of a field. The limited monitoring solutions available along the pipeline with respect to early warning of hydrate formation leads to a conservative approach and thereby a high consumption of inhibitor liquid. As of today, no reliable monitoring systems that can give an early warning of formation of gas hydrates in multiphase flow exist, and monitoring is mainly based on pVT analysis.

This presentation describes new measurement technologies applicable for both laboratory scale characterization of gas hydrates and on-line monitoring of pipelines. Focus is on electromagnetic and acoustic technologies. Tests on ice and atmospheric pressure model systems are used to characterize the sensor systems, and measurements on high pressure crude oil and gas systems are used to verify the ability of the sensor systems for real gas hydrate systems.