The requirement for leak detection in multiphase pipelines has been increasing continuously. Due to it being more expensive to separate gas from liquid and transport them separately more multiphase pipelines are being used.

 

Issues affecting the multi-phase industry are:

  • Transportation of mixed fluids
  • Measurement of multi-phase flow
  • Pig tracking
  • Inventory tracking
  • Leak events

 

The challenge

Multi-phase flow most commonly occurs as two-phase but sometimes as three or four phase. This means there are a wide variety of fluid combinations possible for transported products. These include:

  • Oil-water
  • Oil-gas
  • Water-gas
  • Gas-oil-water
  • Gas-oil-water-sand

 

Having a mixture of fluids in a pipeline can cause a number of challenges due to the individual characteristics of each product. Reactions between the fluids can cause corrosion of the pipeline which can lead to leaks and ruptures. These could potentially go unnoticed if occurring in a subsea pipeline, where it is not possible to install meters.


Multi-phase pipelines in the Norwegian shelf transport product from 143 km out to sea at depths between 850m – 1100m1

 

Multi-phase pipelines are likely to need regular ‘pigging’ in order to remove the build-up of wax and liquid slugs. Pigs need to be tracked so operators can follow their progress as they travel through the pipeline and know their estimated time of arrival at receiving stations.

 

Why use an Atmos system? 

Atmos has software installations on a number of multi-phase pipelines in Russia, Iraq, and Norway. The company has engineers from a range of disciplines and backgrounds so they can bring expertise and most recent technological developments in multi-phase pipelines to client’s projects.

Atmos’ simulation suite of products can help operators to view the activity in unmetered areas of a pipeline using sophisticated hydraulic simulation models. The system is already field proven at Gassco, the largest subsea operator in the world.

Atmos’ rarefaction wave leak detection system has been tested in a few multi-phase pipelines with success. The performance in some flow regimes is very impressive.

Atmos solutions for the multi-phase industry include:

 

Atmos Leak and Theft Detection Suite

This suite of products provides information about the leak size, location and amount of product lost when a leak or theft event happens on a pipeline. Atmos technologies use a variety of field tested methods including flow balance, rarefaction wave, model-based methods and pressure step to provide the most effective and efficient leak and theft detection and location.

Atmos Simulation Suite

Atmos Simulation Suite has a range of powerful and user friendly tools to assist operators in monitoring their lines. It can provide online systems with the ability to forecast operating conditions, offline simulations for design, tuning, training and a surge analysis module.

Atmos Pig

Pipeline pigs or scrapers are used frequently either to maintain the efficiency of the infrastructure or inspect its integrity. Atmos Pig monitors the progress of pigs from the launcher through to the receiver. It gives accurate and up-to-date locations and estimated arrival time to intermediate stations along the pipeline. This ensures the operator can accurately plan operations as the pig passes through the pipeline.

 

References 

Laboratory Values - 25 years of multiphase flow transportation. 4min 53

 

Industries

Oil Oil
Gas Gas
Aviation Aviation
Chemical Chemical
Multi-phase Multi-phase
Water Water
Mining and slurry Mining and slurry
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