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Flow Measurement and Instrumentation 16 (2005) 145155 www.elsevier.

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Tomography for multi-phase ow measurement in the oil industry


I. Ismaila,, J.C. Gamiob, S.F.A. Bukharia, W.Q. Yanga
a School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, The University of Manchester, PO Box 88, Manchester, M60 1QD, UK b Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo, Eje Central L Cardenas Nte #152, Mexico, D.F., CP07730, Mexico

Received 7 October 2004; received in revised form 26 January 2005; accepted 14 February 2005

Abstract Electrical capacitance tomography (ECT) is regarded as a successful method for visualising cross-sectional distribution and measuring multi-phase ows (MPFs). Because of the soft-eld nature of ECT and the non-linear relationship between electrical measurements and the permittivity of the measured material, image reconstruction for ECT is complicated. However, ECT offers some advantages over other tomography modalities, such as no radiation, rapid response, low cost, being non-intrusive and non-invasive, and the ability to withstand high temperature and high pressure. In principle, ECT can deal with the complexity of MPF measurement by explicitly deriving the component distributions at two adjacent planes along a pipeline. Images of the component distributions can be cross-correlated to obtain the velocity prole of the ow. Multiplying the component concentration and velocity proles yields a measure of volumetric ow rate for each phase accurately. This paper covers the development of ECT for MPF metering and oil separator in the oil industry. The principal strategies and technologies that may be used to measure three-phase ows will be discussed, and the status of currently available tomography solutions will be reviewed. 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Multi-phase ow meter; Electrical capacitance tomography; Cross correlation; Oil separator

1. Introduction It is important to measure the uids produced from oil wells accurately for efcient oil exploitation and production [1]. Typically, eld wells produce a complex mixture of gas, oil, water and other components, such as sand, and it is difcult to measure the multi-phase ows (MPFs). The conventional approach is to separate the mixture into individual components, and then measure those separately using single-phase ow (SPF) meters, e.g., orice plates for gas and turbine meters for oil. There are some problems with the required three-phase separators: (1) their bulk, (2) high installation cost and (3) considerable maintenance. Therefore, it is highly attractive to have relatively simple MPF meters, which are capable of measuring the ow rate of each component directly, without
Corresponding author.

E-mail addresses: idrisismail99@yahoo.com (I. Ismail), jgamio@imp.mx (J.C. Gamio), w.yang@manchester.ac.uk (W.Q. Yang). 0955-5986/$ - see front matter 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.owmeasinst.2005.02.017

separation. A recent review article written by Falcone reported some new developments in MPF metering [50]. During the last decade, considerable efforts have been made to develop MPF meters. For example, under the UK National Flow Programme, the National Engineering Laboratory (NEL) has assessed the performance of various MPF meters under different ow (in particular gasoilwater ow) conditions [51,52]. Currently, there are several commercially available meters, based on different measurement principles [2,3]. However, all of them have some limitations. Almost all of them are owregime dependent and most of them can only deal with homogeneous ows in order to achieve an acceptable accuracy. Flow-mixing devices are often used to palliate this problem because in most cases MPFs are inhomogeneous, especially in horizontal or inclined pipes. A problem with these devices is that they interfere with the ow, causing pressure drops, which are ultimately reected as an increase in the required pumping power. Some devices have internal moving parts, which reduce reliability and increase

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(a) Conventional MPF metering using separators [43].

(b) On-line MPF metering [43]. Fig. 1. MPF metering.

maintenance costs, in particular if the meter is used in a remote location such as the seabed or an unmanned platform. It will also present operational difculties if the pipeline needs to be pigged. Others (e.g., some Venturi meters) are designed for upward vertical ows and take advantage of the homogenisation occurring naturally in the ows. However, in the case of high gas fractions (above 80%) the degree of homogenisation is limited, because gas bubbles tend to concentrate in the centre of the pipe, forming an annular ow pattern. In the past, oil companies tried to avoid the problems of taking MPF measurements by using gravity-based separators. This allows the liquid and gas components to be measured individually using proven gas and liquid SPF meters. Initially, two-phase meters were developed for measuring the liquid components together by a combination of densitometer and Venturi meter. This method is suitable for the production elds, where the use of two-phase

separators offers an advantage over three-phase separators in terms of cost and size. From 1940s to 1970s turbine meters were developed and used for measuring crude oil of normal viscosity and orice and positive displacement meters for high viscosity. Improvements were manufacturer-driven and resulted in only a marginal impact of the meters on overall oileld development. Coriolis and ultrasonic meters were developed in the early 1980s and were installed in oilelds in the early 1990s. In the same time period, research into MPF meters was carried out and MPF meters were installed in oilelds. During this period, oil companies primarily drove the research initiatives, and the MPF meters had substantial impact on the overall oileld developments. Fig. 1 shows typical arrangements of two approaches to measuring gasoilwater ows: the conventional method using test separators and on-line measurement [43]. It has recently been reported that installation of MPF meters in the world has risen from 200 in 1998 to about 1000 in 2002 [5].

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True three-phase meters are designed to measure full well streams of gas, oil and water without any separation. They offer signicant saving in cost to off-shore operators (especially in the North Sea), where the economic effect of deep water production makes standard installations of test separators, return pipelines and platforms uneconomical, to the point that reservoirs would not be produced without some less costly alternative method of measurement. The initial development was aimed at sub-sea wellhead completion with metering to handle any percentage of gas, oil and water from 0% to 100%, and any combination in percentage of the three components. However, while the overall economics of the production areas has a priority, the use of MPF meters has been expanded to the measurements in the range of 5%10% accuracy. 2. Overview of current MPF meters One of the main problems faced by currently available MPF meters is that they are ow-regime dependent [3,4, 6]. Fig. 2 shows three cases of gasoil ows with an oil volume fraction of 25% in all cases but with three different ow regimes: homogeneous, stratied and annular. The readings in Fig. 2 would be obtained by a conventional volume fraction meter (like those used in commercial MPF meters) which had been calibrated for homogeneous ows. Thus if the ow regime changes, considerable errors will occur because the sensing path is localised. Therefore, they can only be used with a rather limited range of ow patterns (preferably homogeneous or quasi-homogeneous ow). Flow-regime independence is of particular importance for down-hole ow measurement in inclined, horizontal or multilateral wells (which are increasingly common), because the ow regimes tend to be stratied or other types that are particularly difcult to measure with the current MPF meters [4]. In general, commercial MPF meters can be categorised into two types: (1) Measurement by separation techniques. Due to the difculty in measuring three-phase components directly, separation techniques are used to segregate gas, oil and water, and then each stream is measured separately. Further development has introduced partial separation, which typically only separates liquid and gas, to improve the accuracy for high gas volume fraction and to reduce the size of MPF meters. An example of an MPF meter using partial ow separation is the Agarcorp MPFM 400 (see Fig. 3(a)). (2) On-line measurement. The new generation of MPF meters use direct measurement to reduce the expensive space requirements in an offshore oil platform. They are compact and have non-intrusive sensors. An example of the desirable location of these MPF meters is shown in Fig. 1(b). The ESMER MFM is an example of an MPF meter without using partial ow separation (see

(a) Homogeneous (measured concentration =25%).

(b) Stratied (measured concentration=30%).

(c) Annular (measured concentration=13.4%). Fig. 2. Effect of ow regimes on measurement (real concentration = 25%).

Fig. 3(b)). The latest generation has the exibility for sub-sea installation. Some systems use homogenisers or ow conditioners to ensure a homogenous regime, thus removing the problem of ow regime dependency. In terms of the technology employed, commercial MPF meters vary. Table 1 lists typical techniques used. Most of the meters use combinations of component fraction and component velocity measurement techniques. Component fraction measurement methods can be categorised into two groups: radioactive attenuation (e.g., -ray) and impedancebased. Methods of determining component velocities can be grouped into cross-correlation techniques and Venturibased measurement. Some of the meters adopt signal processing measurements techniques to improve the overall performance. For example, as shown in Table 1, the ESMER meter of Fig. 3(b) uses a neural network approach to interpret signals from capacitance/conductance and pressure sensors. Examples of MPF meters with and without homogenizer are shown in Fig. 4. Fig. 4(a) shows an MPF meter from JiskootMixmeter with a static homogenizer. The homogenizer is designed to generate differential pressure for total volume ow rate calculation. A dual-energy -ray densitometer is used to derive the phase fractions of gas and liquid. Fig. 4(b) shows a Roxar-Fluenta (Norway) meter MPFM 1900VI without homogenizer. It uses a combination of capacitance, inductance, -ray, and Venturi transducers to measure bulk electrical properties of the owing mixture in oil and water continuous ow respectively, and derive water cut from these measurements. Cross-correlation technique and Venturi meter are used to measure phase velocity.

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Table 1 Commercial three-phase ow metering systems MFM commercial meters 1 2 3 4 Component fraction measurement method Single energy -ray absorption Dual energy -ray absorption Impedance (capacitance, conductance and/or resistance) Component velocity measurement method Cross-correlation Venturi Other measurement methods Neural Networks and Signal Processing PD ow metermixture volumetric ow rate -ray densitometermixture density Single-phase gas meter Single or dual phase liquid meter Partial or full ow separation required Homogenized ow required Sub-sea application Reference Key reference for commercial meters. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

[11] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]

[7]

[8]

[9]

[10]

[12]

10. Roxar (Fluenta MPFM 1900VI), Norway. 11. TEA (LYRA), Italy. b. Some of the commercial meters, such as CSIRO, Daniel (MEGRA), MFI and Fluenta, are not listed as they have been acquired by other companies. In contrast, the use of tomography (providing an image of the whole ow) allows the possibility of developing a new type of MPF meter, which is conceptually simple and inherently insensitive to variations in the ow regime. Tomography can also be used as a tool to determine the ow regime in order to compensate the non-linearity of currently available MPF meters (caused by their ow-regime dependency). 3. Industrial process tomography 3.1. Concept The term industrial process tomography refers to a whole range of non-invasive visualization techniques, which is relatively new (since the late 1980s) and still developing. The aim of industrial process tomography is to obtain cross-sectional images of dynamic industrial processes [6, 18]. Tomography techniques provide a novel means of visualising the internal behaviour of industrial processes. The cross-sectional images produced by tomography systems provide valuable information on the process, which can be used for visualisation, monitoring, mathematical model verication and possibly for intelligent control. There are many types of tomography systems, such as electrical, ultrasonic, radiation, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), microwave and optical.

(a) With partial ow separation [8].

(b) Without ow separation [9]. Fig. 3. Examples of MPF meters handling various uid phases.

a. 1. Accuow (AF series), USA. 2. Agar (MPFM-400), USA. 3. ESMER (T series), UK. 4. Flowsys (Topow), Norway. 5. Framo (PhaseWatcher Vx), Norway. 6. Haimo, China. 7. ISA (Dualstream II), UK. 8. Jiskoot (Mixmeter), Netherlands. 9. Kvaerner (DUET), Norway.

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(a) JiskootMixmeter with homogenizer [14].

Development of more accurate image reconstruction methods (obviously, inaccurate images will result in inaccurate volume ow estimations). Improvement of data processing efciency by using highperformance computing (accurate image reconstruction and the subsequent cross-correlation process are both computation intensive). Design of mechanical and electronic hardware suitable for safe and reliable use in harsh industrial environments (not just in the laboratory). 3.2. Tomography sensors There are many types of tomography sensors, including ionising radiation (e.g., x-ray and -ray), optical, positron emission (PET), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), acoustic (including ultrasound), electrical (i.e., capacitive, conductive and inductive) and microwave. Each of these techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the choice depends on the subject under investigation. Several tomographic techniques involving the measurement of electrical properties have received signicant attention: electrical capacitance tomography (ECT), electromagnetic tomography (EMT) and electrical resistance tomography (ERT). The main disadvantage of electrical techniques is their moderate spatial resolution of the resultant image, because unlike x-rays, electric elds cannot be conned to a direct narrow path between a transmitter and a receiver. 3.2.1. ECT ECT has been developed for imaging industrial processes containing dielectric materials. It is based on measuring the changes in capacitance that are caused by the change in dielectric material distribution. The capacitance measurements are taken from a multi-electrode sensor (typically 8 or 12; see Fig. 6(a)) surrounding an industrial process vessel or pipeline. The cross-sectional distribution of permittivity is reconstructed from these capacitance measurements mathematically using some algorithm. Most ECT systems employ a dedicated design of capacitance measuring circuit, such as the charge/discharge circuit [19] and the AC-based circuit [20,21], which have been used successfully to image two-component ows, e.g., gas/oil ows in oil pipelines, gas/solids ows in pneumatic conveyors and gas/solids distribution in uidised beds [2224]. ECT is regarded as softeld tomography and requires complicated image reconstruction due to the non-linear relationship between the measurements and the permittivity distribution. Compared with other tomography modalities, ECT offers some advantages, such as no radiation, rapid response, relatively low cost, being non-intrusive and non-invasive, and withstanding high temperature and pressure [31]. If the electrical eld inside the measurement plane does not enclose free electrical charge, the relationship between

(b) Roxar-Fluenta meterMPFM 1900VI, without homogenizer [16]. Fig. 4. Examples of MPF meters handling variation in ow regimes.

Fig. 5. Tomographic MPF measurement.

In order to explain the tomographic method for MPF measurement, we suppose that the cross-section of a pipe is divided into N elements of equal area a . Then, the instantaneous volume ow of phase x is given by
N

Qx = a
i =1

fi (x ) vi

(1)

where f i (x ) and vi are the concentration (or volume fraction) of phase x and the ow velocity, respectively, in the i -th element. In a tomographic ow meter as shown in Fig. 5, two series of images of the ow are obtained simultaneously in two contiguous cross-sections of the pipe. Eq. (1) can be applied after the volume fraction distributions f i (x ) are determined directly by the tomographic images and the velocity prole vi by processing the two series of images using cross-correlation techniques. Because the tomographic methods are still a developing technology, some challenges still need to be addressed: Improvement of sensor spatial resolution of measurement better than 5%.

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(a) 8-electrode ECT sensor.

Alternatively, a conductive ring (also in contact with the uids) can be used. A number of different excitation current patterns are applied and the resultant voltages are measured. They are then used to construct a conductivity distribution inside the sensor, which reects the physical distribution of the mixture components. It has been used for imaging hydro-cyclones [27], mixing processes [28] and MPF [29]. The operation of ERT systems is basically the same as ECT systems except that a high-impedance measurement frontend is needed for conductive loads. Thus ERT uses current injection techniques with voltage measurement circuits, as shown in Fig. 6(b). Similarly to ECT, the conductive ring sensor of ERT shown in Fig. 6(b) can be treated as an electrostatic eld problem and can be characterized by [30] [ (x , y ) (x , y )] = 0 (5) where is the gradient operator, (x , y ) is the conductivity distribution in the sensing eld and (x , y ) is the electrical potential distribution. The boundary conditions are given by ds = I , ds = I , n 2 n /n = const (n = 1, 2, . . . , N ) =0 n
1

(b) ERT sensor.

(6) (7) (8)

(c) EMT sensor. Fig. 6. ECT, ERT and EMT sensors.

where is the potential distributions in response to the presence of currents I , 1 and 2 are the electrical contact domain for current injecting presenting Neumann conditions, n are electrical contact domains and represents other domains on the external boundary of the conductive ring. 3.2.3. EMT EMT, as shown in Fig. 6(c), is a technique offering a number of advantages, such as exibility in sensor design and no contact with the sensing zone. An EMT sensor consists of a set of excitation coils, which produce a magnetic eld within a cross section of a pipe. A set of detection coils is used to detect the changes in the eld due to changes in permeability and conductivity inside the vessel. To achieve a high sensitivity, a high excitation frequency is needed. So far, the image resolution of EMT is poor [32,33]. EMT sensors are governed by [33] E = j H H = 0 H = ( + j )E (9) (10) (11)

the capacitance and the permittivity distribution is governed by [25] [(x , y ) (x , y )] = 0 1 Q = (x , y ) (x , y )d C= V V (2) (3)

where is the gradient operator, (x , y ) is the permittivity distribution in the sensing eld, (x , y ) is the electrical potential distribution, V is the potential difference between two electrodes forming the capacitance and is the electrode surface. The boundary conditions when one electrode is excited with a xed voltage Vo and all other electrodes are kept at zero potential, as occurs during the measurement procedure, are dened by = Vo (for the excited electrode) = 0 (for others). and (4)

3.2.2. ERT ERT is used to image mixtures where the continuous phase is conductive [6,18] and the dispersed phase insulating or conducting to a lesser degree [26]. In this case, the electrodes are mounted ush with the inside surface of a pipe (or vessel) wall and directly in contact with the uids.

where is the gradient operator, E is the electric eld strength, H is the magnetic eld strength, is the applied angular frequency, is the magnetic permeability, is the electrical conductivity and is the permittivity distribution in the sensing eld. The induced voltage, V is given by V = j I A J dv
coil

(12)

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where I is the total current through the coil, A is the magnetic vector potential and J is the current density. In addition to ECT, ERT and EMT, there are other emerging techniques, such as electrical impedance tomography (EIT), which measures both real and imaginary parts of impedance, and multi-modality tomography. A multi-modality system makes use of two or more different sensing entities to locate or measure different constituents in the object space. In order to employ tomography for MPF measurement, tomography systems capable of acquiring and processing images with sufcient accuracy and speed (hundreds of frames per second) must be developed. Similarly, due to the need for distinguishing three components, dual-modality tomography systems are required, which can measure two distinct physical properties of the uid. For example, for uids whose continuous phase is an electrical insulator, a combination of capacitance and -ray tomography could be used. When the continuous phase is conducting, resistance and -ray tomography could be employed. Other options include the combination of capacitance and resistance, and the application of electrical impedance spectroscopy (i.e., the use of different frequencies). 3.3. Data acquisition and data processing for ECT During a measurement period, each electrode in an ECT sensor is energised in turn by applying an excitation voltage signal, and the induced charge/current is detected from all the other electrodes while their electric potential is kept at zero. Take an 8-electrode sensor as an example. First, electrode 1 is used as the excitation electrode and electrodes 28 as the detection electrodes. Next, electrode 2 is used as the excitation electrode and electrodes 38 as the detection electrodes, and so on, up to electrode 7 as the excitation electrode and electrode 8 as the detection electrode. For an ECT sensor with N electrodes, there are N ( N 1)/2 electrode-pair combinations, i.e., N ( N 1)/2 independent capacitance measurements for an image. There are two approaches to image reconstruction: single-step calculation, e.g., linear back projection (LBP), and iterative processing. The LBP algorithm (also called the sensitivity coefcient method) is the most popular image reconstruction for electrical tomography. It relies on the sensitivity maps, which can be obtained in advance using nite element analysis. An image is obtained by superimposing all capacitance measurements together using the sensitivity coefcients as weighting factors. This algorithm is simple and fast, but offers qualitative images only. To enhance the image quality, various iterative image reconstruction algorithms have been developed. The basic principle is described briey below. An initial estimate is obtained by a simple algorithm, e.g., LBP. The capacitance is estimated from the current image and then compared with the real measurements. The difference between them is used to modify the image so that the differences

decrease. When the differences are sufciently small, the image is supposed to be the true representation of material distribution. This is, in some ways, similar to a feedback control system. In choosing a reconstruction algorithm, the main considerations are expense, speed and accuracy. Iterative algorithms can increase the accuracy, but they reduce the speed and cost more. For fast on-line imaging, the LBP algorithm is probably the best if only a reasonable accuracy is required. When high accuracy is needed, more complicated algorithms are preferable [34]. Iterative image reconstruction is time consuming because the estimation of capacitance from an image usually involves nite element analysis. Recently a new iterative algorithm has been developed at The University of Manchester. Instead of using nite element analysis, a linear forward projection method is used to estimate capacitance, which is much faster, but less accurate than nite element methods. This method has been tested experimentally and shown promising results. 4. Current status 4.1. At the University of Manchester The University of Manchester (formerly known as UMIST) has been leading the research area in industrial process tomography since the late 1980s. Until 1996, research had focused on electrical tomography, especially ECT. In 1991 the rst real-time ECT system was developed in collaboration with the University of Leeds and Schlumberger Cambridge Research Ltd. The system was used successfully to generate images of gasoil ows in oil pipelines and was also used for other applications [3537]. A follow-up project explored gasoilwater three-component ow measurement by a combination of ECT, ultrasonic tomography and cross-correlation techniques (see Fig. 7). Further discussions on this work are beyond the scope of this paper as we are not in the position to provide further comments. The group has been able to produce new circuits and techniques, aiming to measure change in capacitance down to 30 aF (aF = 1018 F), and novel ECT systems, which have been demonstrated on a wide range of challenging investigations. Recently, a new ECT system has been developed, which is based on highfrequency (up to 1 MHz in comparison with 10 kHz normally used for AC measurement) sine-wave excitation and phase-sensitive demodulation [39]. This design has been used to image circulating uidised beds, pneumatic conveyors and gas/water droplet ows. Compared with the charge/discharge ECT system, the AC-based system has several advantages: Both capacitance and loss-conductance measurements, providing the possibility of a dual-modality system. Improved performance in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and data acquisition rates.

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Fig. 8. Impedance analyser based ECT system. (a) Test ow loop with tomography sensors.

(b) Block diagram of the multi-modality tomography system. Fig. 7. Test rig for imaging gas/oil/water ow.

Performing frequency sweeping to implement spectroscopy. Flexibility in excitation electrode combination to generate the optimal sensing eld. An impedance analyser based ECT system has been developed to quantify low concentration MPF in wet gas separation processes. It comprises a multi-electrode capacitance sensor, a purpose-built multiplexer, an impedance analyser (HP4284A) and a host PC, as shown in Fig. 8 [40]. The impedance analyser based system hardware provides high accuracy (0.05%) and high resolution (1017 F). The sensor was calibrated in an environmental chamber with solid samples of known permittivity over a range of temperature and humidity. The results of tests carried out over a range of operating conditions (20%95% humidity) demonstrated that the ECT system is able to reconstruct clear images of the liquid droplets distribution inside the separator. The group has also built an oil separator test rig to develop separator control and monitoring strategy based on ECT. Because an oil separator may contain many different materials, such as gas, foam, oil, emulsion, water and sand, it is difcult to measure the levels of the interfaces. Although some multi-interface level sensors have been developed for measuring the interfaces in oil separators, there are some problems with radiation, intrusive and invasive, difcult to clean, high maintenance request, etc. A knowledge-based technique is considered for generating control signals for different conditions [38]. Fig. 9 shows the test rig and design diagram.
(a) Test rig with horizontal separator and vertical mixer.

(b) Block diagram of the test rig operation. Fig. 9. Test rig for gas/oil/water separator.

I. Ismail et al. / Flow Measurement and Instrumentation 16 (2005) 145155 Table 2 Multi-phase ow measurement systems at other institutions Institution University of Hudderseld & University of Leeds, UK NEL, UK University of Bergen, Norway Research area Using ERT for multiphase ow monitoring Determination of ow patterns and void fraction of multiphase ows using ECT Oil pipeline measurement using ECT and -ray tomography Multiphase ow regime identication using -ray ERT for two-phase ow and void fraction measurement Using principal component analysis to measure two-phase ow concentration Measurement of two-phase ow using ECT and Venturi References Ma et al. [44] NEL report [45]

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Johansen et al. [46] Tjugum et al. [53] Dong et al. [47] Zou et al. [48] Xie et al. [49]

Tianjin University, China Tsinghua University, China Zhejiang University, China

temporal resolution and -ray tomography can provide good spatial resolution. In the UK, the NEL has carried out evaluation of ECT for real-time visualisation of gasliquid distribution under the DTI Flow Programme (19992002). It was found that ECT was able to visualise gasliquid ows and to identify ow regimes. In Norway, ECT was used to visualise an oil separator of 1 m in diameter. Using ECT, it has been demonstrated that the interface levels could be measured using a model-based iterative image reconstruction algorithm [34]. In China, several universities are reporting improvement in electrical tomography especially in image reconstruction.
Fig. 10. Industrial ECT sensor mounted in a pressurised ow loop at IMP.

4.2. At IMP Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP for its initials in Spanish) has been involved in ECT research since 2000, with a focus on gasoil two-phase ow imaging and measurement. New image reconstruction methods have been developed based on heuristic optimisation techniques, such as genetic algorithms and simulated annealing [41]. Compared with other methods, this approach offers considerable improvement in the reconstruction of quantitative images. However, it is slow because a very large number of iterations are required. Another area of investigation at IMP is sensor design. A high-pressure (1400 psi) sensor capable of operating with actual gasoil mixtures on industrial pressurised pipelines has been developed and tested successfully on a 3 in. MPF test loop [42] (see Fig. 10). 4.3. At other institutions Some other research activities in electrical tomography for the oil industry are listed in Table 2. Some used multimodality by combining electrical with -ray tomography, expecting that electrical tomography can provide good

5. Conclusions ECT is a valuable tool in MPF measurement. It would solve the problems with ow-regime dependency aficting currently available MPF meters, eliminating the need for mixing devices that have a negative effect on the required pumping power, and extending the eld of application of MPF measurement into new areas, for example seaoor installations and down-hole measurement in horizontal, inclined, and multi-lateral wells. The advantages of ECT are that the sensing systems are non-intrusive and noninvasive, ow-regime independent, robust and need minimal maintenance. Tomographic methods could be applied to MPF measurement in two ways [4]: (1) as an instrument to determine the ow regime in order to correct or compensate the readings from currently available MPF meters, which are ow-regime dependent, and (2) as a radically new owregime-independent method of MPF measurement in its own right, without having to resort to any other principles. ECT can potentially be used within a dual-modality system for simultaneously measuring the volume ow rate of oil, water and gas in oil well ows. Its capability of ow imaging would also be useful for process control because the cross-sectional image can give important additional

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information, such as phase distribution. Recent research has demonstrated that a highly sensitive ECT system can be developed. The latest sensor is very compact and can easily be modied for different measurement requirements. The additional radial inserts, which are grounded for reducing direct coupling between adjacent electrodes, has resulted in an electrically stable system, giving condence that the measurements are reproducible. Acknowledgements Idris Ismail would like to take this opportunity to thank Universiti Teknologi Petronas for supporting his PhD study at UMIST and Carlos Gamio would like to thank IMP for supporting the research project D00046. References
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