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Flow testing and flow calibration

Flow testing in specialized flow laboratories

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Peter Jerome Youll Peter Jerome Youll
Director, Pipeline Services North America HSEQ
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Flow testing

For oil and gas production and distribution flow assurance is key. Environmental and commercial drivers have made flow testing and flow calibration essential to control what flows through systems, and to reduce uncertainty in measurements. 

DNV GL has specialized laboratories for flow testing, located in UK (Bishop Auckland, Spadeadam), the Netherlands (Groningen), Norway (Høvik) and the US (Columbus, Ohio). 

Flow calibration

Our laboratories offer more than flow testing. They are also used for flow calibration of equipment, with a range of gases and liquids under realistic flow conditions. From routine calibration of flow meters through to testing of subsea components, we are world leaders in flow and flow assurance, supported by computer modelling and multi-disciplinary advisory staff.  

Flow assurance and processing 

As the oil and gas industry develops new areas, the gas and liquids that need transporting and processing become more complex. DNV GL laboratories enable:

  • Flow testing, including testing, validation and calibration of multiphase process equipment at realistic temperatures, pressures and flow rates
  • Multiphase pipeline flow and corrosion studies using metallurgical expertise and hazard identification to determine the operating limits of components
  • Screening and selection of oilfield chemicals for hydrate formation and inhibition, wax deposition and remediation, and corrosion inhibition
  • Global leading sand management, performing complex erosion testing of components used in the oil and gas industry.

Flow test facilities 

Our network of facilities include DNV GL's Bishop Auckland Research and Testing, which is one of the largest flow test facilities in the world, and can undertake flow tests and flow calibrations at close to operational conditions. Smaller meters can be calibrated at our Groningen Multiphase Flow laboratory

Regulators, valves, fluid and dust separators, secondary instrumentation and complete metering stations can be tested for onshore or offshore applications. Both laboratories also perform flow research for industrial processes and energy utilization systems. 

We also undertake natural gas quality and component analysis for custody transfer flow measurement systems, and can analyse hydrocarbons, test for impurities (at trace level), and undertake testing on new analytical systems, software and flow computers.  

What our flow laboratories offer: 

  • Full-scale calibration and testing of flow metering
  • Hydrocarbon gas and liquid analysis
  • Multiphase test loop
  • Erosion test rigs: medium and full scale
  • Consultancy services and training courses.