Multiphase Flow Laboratory
IMF National Research Infrastructure
Modern calculation tools for multiphase flow have, since 1980, paved the way for multiphase technology, which has had enormous significance for the Norwegian oil industry and for Norway's economic development. On the Troll field alone, the savings are estimated at NOK 40-50 billion. The technology has also made it possible to develop oil fields that would not otherwise be profitable. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giLNIF701dA&t=14s)
Multiphase technology is about transporting oil, gas and water in the same pipe from the drilling site to an oil platform or to a facility on land. The transport stage can be many tens of kilometers long over hilly seabed, cracks and rocks. The uphills and downhills in particular, where the mixture of water, oil and gas - the untreated well stream - slows down or accelerates, present a number of challenges. With the new, modern equipment, Norway will have the only research laboratory in the world where multiphase flow can be studied at a detailed level. This will make the transport of oil and gas cheaper, safer and more environmentally friendly. In addition, the knowledge acquired over 40 years is directly applicable to the transport and injection CO2. The research infrastructure is therefore of great strategic importance to Norway.
In the area of multiphase flow, the institutes SINTEF and IFE have been international leaders for 40 years and have, in collaboration with industry partners, developed the two leading calculation tools for this purpose. To be able to rely on such calculations, one has had to build advanced laboratories. Measurement data have been collected here to confirm and improve the calculation models.
The laboratories at SINTEF and IFE were upgraded with infrastructure funds from the Research Council and support from Equinor in 2014-2015. The two facilities complement each other and are operated as one national research infrastructure. SINTEF's plant at Tiller was upgraded from a two-phase plant (gas-oil) to a three-phase plant (oil-water-gas) on a large scale. On this scale, it is challenging to measure details in the flow. This was and is therefore the focus in the laboratories at Kjeller, where investments were made in measurement technologies with a focus on details.
The laboratories at SINTEF were upgraded with infrastructure funds from the Research Council in 2016-2020. The project aimed to secure that the facilities were updated, operating and delivering high quality research. Specifically, it was applied for funding of extraordinary maintenance and equipment replacements and operational support.