Proceedings The 4th Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition 2016
10  12 August 2016, Cendrawasih Hall  Jakarta Convention Center, Indonesia
EVALUATION OF FLOW RATE MEASUREMENT WITH JAMES LIP
PRESSURE METHOD IN RANTAU DEDAP GEOTHERMAL
FIELD, SOUTH SUMATERA, LAHAT
Astri Ramadanti 1,3, Aldeo Berdiansyah 1,4, M. Tamrin Humaedi 2
1 Department
of Mining Engineering, Sriwijaya University, 2 PT. Supreme Energy Rantau Dedap
3 ramadanti.astri@gmail.com
; 4 aldeogooners@gmail.com
Keywords: Production Test, James Lip Pressure Method, TFT
Method
assessment. During the course of exploration drilling,
comprehensive well testing surveys were executed, consisting
of static formation temperature test (SFTT), completion test,
heatingup test, production test, and interference test.
Abstract
This paper is focus on reviewing production test
implementation with James Lip pressure method, particularly
data processing and sensitivity analysis to obtain more reliable
result.
James Lip Pressure method is the common method to assess
well production capacity for twophase flow in geothermal
industry. This method was applied in Rantau Dedap geothermal
field during the exploration stage and result in acceptable range
of accuracy and reliability. This paper review the James lip
pressure method implementation in Rantau Dedap field as part
of continual improvement process to support Rantau Dedap
development drilling program. Relative error compared to TFT
(Tracer Flow Test) method yield 13% and 7% for enthalpy and
total mass rate respectively. Sensitivity parameters involving
lip pressure and weirbox was performed to obtain most
sensitive to the calculation result. Recalibration of these
parameters yield more reliable calculation result with average
error less than 5% compared to TFT. Several suggestions are
also mentioned to improve measurement reliability from the
field. This paper is completed as part of undergraduate final
project program in Sriwijaya University.
Background
The main objective of production test is to acquire information
regarding production parameters such as total mass rate and
enthalpy at certain flowing wellhead pressure as well as to
sample and evaluate fluid chemistry characteristic. Production
test is conducted within particular duration to obtain production
parameters at different flowing wellhead pressure conditions,
thus information on optimum wellhead condition can be
retrieved.
There are several production test methods widely used in the
industry namely Singlephase Measurements, Totalflow
Calorimeter, Separator Method, James Lip Pressure Method
and Tracer Dilution Method/Tracer Flow Test (TFT). In Rantau
Dedap, James Lip Pressure method was used as the method can
accommodate continues measurement for two phase flow with
relatively higher flow rate. In addition, TFT Method was also
used to validate James Lip measurement since this method is
more reliable and yield relatively smaller error compared to
James Lip Method for twophase flow (Grant, 2011).
Introduction
Rantau Dedap Geothermal Field is located in Muara Enim
Regency, South Sumatera, Indonesia. The prospect is situated
in the northern east of the Great Sumatra Fault as presented in
Figure 1.
James Lip Pressure Method is a wellknown technique to
estimate the flowing enthalpy and total mass rate from a
discharging geothermal well. Enthalpy and total mass rate are
required to calculate dryness of the fluid, steam flow rate, and
estimate productivity of the wells at a given well head pressure.
This method is derived from the empirical experiment by James
(Grant, 2011).
TFT Method to obtain enthalpy and total mass rate of a two
phase flow is accomplished by measuring the dilution of
separate vapor and liquid phase tracers injected into a twophase flow. Separated steam and water samples are taken
downstream from the tracer injection point after the tracer has
become mixed with the twophase flow. The mass flow rates of
the vapor and liquid phases can then be calculated, and
knowing the pipeline pressure, the fluid enthalpy can also be
obtained (Grant, 2011).
Figure 1.
Evaluation on calculated production parameters by James Lip
Pressure Method in one of productive exploratory wells (RDX) has been conducted. Compared to TFT result at the same
condition, James Lip Pressure Method yielded deviation of
13% for enthalpy and 7% for total mass rate. Data processing
and sensitivity analysis in order to obtain more reliable
Rantau Dedap prospect location
In 20142015 PT Supreme Energy Rantau Dedap (SERD)
drilled six full diameter exploration wells in order to confirm
the existence of geothermal system and to perform reserve
1
Proceedings The 4th Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition 2016
10  12 August 2016, Cendrawasih Hall  Jakarta Convention Center, Indonesia
calculated production result by James Lip Pressure Method are
presented in the subsequent paragraph.
between saturated steam enthalpy and saturated liquid enthalpy
(kJ/kg).
James Lip Pressure Method
First Step: Sensitivity Analysis
During the production test, fluid from the well is horizontally
diverted to silencer (atmospheric separator). The pressure
tapping is installed at the end of the lip pipe, thus lip pressure
can be recorded. The separated brine exiting from silencer is
measured over a sharpedge weir using generic formula to
obtain brine flow rate on weir box. From these data, the flowing
enthalpy and total mass rate can be calculated with James Lip
Pressure equation (1).
First step to perform evaluation on James Lip Pressure Method
is conducting sensitivity analysis on the input parameters such
as lip pressure and weir box height. The objective is to obtain
most sensitive input parameter to the calculated result (enthalpy
and total mass rate ). The result of sensitivity analysis is
presented in Figure 2 and Figure 3.
1.102
0.96
G=
= 184 ................................................................ (1)
................................................................................... (2)
Combining (1) and (2) yield:
1.102
0.96
= 184 ................................................................ (3)
where p is lip pressure (bar absolute), H is flowing enthalpy
(kJ/kg), A is the wide of the lip pipe (cm2), M is the total mass
rate (kg/s).
Figure 2.
Sensitivity analysis on lip pressure
Figure 3.
Sensitivty analysis on weir box height
Mass flow calculation and enthalpy from lip pressure method
can also be calculated with this equation:
1. Calculate the brine rate on weir box (W)
W=
8
15
2 tan ( + )2,5 .......... (4)
2
where W is brine rate on weir box (kg/s), g is gravity
acceleration (m/s2), is vnotch angle, Ce is discharge
coefficient, hu is the level or heights of brine from the base of
vnotch in the weir box (m), kh is the headadjustment factor to
accomodate effects of viscosity and surface tension, and is
liquid saturation density (kg/m3).
2. Calculate Y factor
Y=
0.96 .................................................................. (5)
The correction value of lip pressure and weir box height is
based on previous field experience in Muara Laboh and Rantau
Dedap. According to sensitivity result on lip pressure (Figure
2), highest relative error for enthalpy and total mass rate is
8.4% and 5.3% respectively. Sensitivity result on weir box
height yield higher relative error with 22% and 20% for
enthalpy and total mass rate respectively. Thus the most
sensitive input parameter is weir box height.
where Y is constant factor, W is brine rate on weir box (kg/s), A
is the wide of lip pipe (cm2), and p is pressure on lip pipe (bara)
3. Calculate flowing enthalpy (H)
H=
+3329
............................................................... (6)
1+28.3
Second Step: Apply Sensitivity Result
where H is flowing enthalpy (kJ/kg), Y is Y factor and HS is
steam enthalpy on saturated condition (kJ/kg)
Second step of evaluation James Lip Pressure Method is
applying most sensitive input parameter (weir box height)
within certain range into general formula. The calculated result
then compared with TFT Method.
4. Calculate total mass rate (M)
M=
.................................................................. (7)
TFT method is capable providing more reliable result
particularly for twophase fluid and high total flow mass rate.
Hirtz and Lovekin (1995) have validated that TFT result based
where M is total mass rate (kg/s), W is brine rate on weirbox
(kg/s), H is flowing enthalpy (kJ/kg), HLs is the difference
2
Proceedings The 4th Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition 2016
10  12 August 2016, Cendrawasih Hall  Jakarta Convention Center, Indonesia
on the experience in Roosevelt, Salton Sea, and Heber
geothermal fields (Grant, 2011).
Relative error for total mass rate
=
Four sets of TFT data were available to validate calculated
production parameters by James Lip Pressure Method.
Calculated production before correction is presented Figure 4
and Figure 5.
43 / 47,6/
47,6 kg/s
= 10%
Relative error of enthalpy and total mass rate for the March
data set is 17% and 10% respectively. Applying the same step
for other three data sets, relative error is presented in Table 1.
Table 1.
Relative error on four data sets
Data Set
March
Figure 4.
April
September
.................................................... (10)
Relative Error (r)
Enthalpy
Total Mass Rate
March
16.5%
10.0%
April
16.5%
1.5%
September
9.0%
6.0%
December
10.1%
7.0%
December
The ideal relative error for James Lip Pressure Method
according to field best practice is 8% and Table 1 suggested
that relative error exceeds the ideal value. Therefore, it is
necessary to evaluate James Lip Pressure input parameter, in
this case weir box height as the most sensitive parameter.
Comparison of enthalpy calculated by James Lip
Pressure Method and TFT Method
Third Step: Evaluation of Input Parameter Apply
Correction
In the evaluation process, TFT Method was used as reference
since it is more reliable for twophase fluid with relatively high
flow rate. According to the first step, weir box height is the
most sensitive parameter to the James Lip Pressure calculation
result.
Reading weir box height is done manually and therefore
providing room for error, particularly parallax reading. In
addition, according to field experience scaling is also count for
such inaccurate reading. Scaling is usually found on the bottom
or vnotch area.
March
Figure 5.
April
September
December
The objective of this step is to obtain optimize weir box height
value that yield smallest relative error both enthalpy and total
mass rate. The result of correction on the weir box height is
presented in Figure 6 and Figure 7.
Comparison of total mass rate calculated by James
Lip Pressure Method and TFT Method
Using TFT Method as reference, relative error of production
parameters is defined as follow:
=
 
..................................................................... (8)
where r is relative error, LPM is value of James Lip Pressure
Method, TFT is value of TFT.
Known the value of the enthalpy and the total mass rate for
James Lip Pressure method in the March data set is 1067 kJ/kg
and 43 kg/s respectively, and 909 kJ/kg and 47.6 kg/s from TFT
Method, the relative error for March data set is:
March
Relative error for enthalpy
1067 / 909 / 
909 /
.......................................... (9)
Figure 6.
= 17%
April
September
December
After correction: Comparison of enthalpy calculated
by James Lip Pressure Method and TFT Method
Proceedings The 4th Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition 2016
10  12 August 2016, Cendrawasih Hall  Jakarta Convention Center, Indonesia
A summary of optimization for all data sets and comparison
between initial relative error and postcorrection relative error
is presented in Table 2 and Table 3.
Table 2.
Input parameter optimization to obtain minimum
relative error
Input Parameter Optimization
Data Set
March
Figure 7.
April
September
March
April
September
December
December
Table 3.
After correction: Comparison of total mass rate
calculated by James Lip Pressure Method and TFT
Method
Weir box height (cm)
+2
+1.5
+0.2
+2.1
Relative error comparison between initial and postcorrection on input parameters
Data Set
As seen in Figure 6 and Figure 7, correction on weir box height
only does not satisfy all data sets, particularly April and
September data set. According to sensitivity analysis on the
first step, lip pressure is also account for error despite smaller
error than weir box height. Therefore, additional optimization
on lip pressure is required to minimize relative error. Post
optimization of these two input parameters on calculated
production parameters of April and September data set is
presented in Figure 8 and Figure 9.
Lip pressure (psi)
3.0
2.5

March
April
September
December
Enthalpy Relative
Error (r)
Total Mass Rate
Relative Error (r)
Before
16.5%
16.5%
9.0%
10.1%
Before
10.0%
1.5%
6.0%
7.0%
After
4.0%
1.5%
3.5%
0.5%
After
4.0%
1.5%
3.5%
0.5%
In the optimization process, field condition is also considered
as critical factor to confine input parameter value. For instance,
weirbox height on September data set is only corrected +0.2
cm, this is due to scaling build up on the vnotch and therefore
correction factor is relatively smaller than other data sets. In
addition, lip pressure correction is based on hydrostatic column
of about 2 meters (~3 psi) in between pressure gauge and
pressure tap point.
Conclusion
March
Figure 8.
April
September
1. Weir box height is the most sensitive input parameter for
James Lip Pressure Method. Routine scale cleanup in weir
box is necessary to maintain the accuracy and reliability of
the James lip pressure measurement.
2. TFT implementation as secondary production parameter
measurement is mandatory to be implemented in a regular
basis as reference point for James Lip pressure primary
measurement method evaluation.
3. Minimum relative error of production parameters is
obtained by optimizing weir box height for all data sets and
lip pressure for April and September data set.
4. Field condition is taken into account to confine
optimization process.
December
Calculated enthalpy after correction lip pressure
and weir box height
Acknowledgment
The authors wish to thank the management of SERD for the
permission to publish this paper. Discussions with SERD
Subsurface team members and lecturer are very much
appreciated.
References
March
Figure 9.
April
September
Bengtson, Harlan H, 2011 Sharp Crested Weirs for Open
Channel Flow Measurement. New York: Continuing
Education and Development.
December
Calculated total mass rate after correction lip
pressure and weir box height
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Engineering Second Edition. Academic Press.
Proceedings The 4th Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition 2016
10  12 August 2016, Cendrawasih Hall  Jakarta Convention Center, Indonesia
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Martikno et al., 2013. Evaluation of Weirs Calculation to
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