TORUSWEDGE / Coriolis Mud Flow Comparison Test
Test Date: November 6, 2015
Report Date: December 16, 2015
Prepared by: Dave Bell, Bell Technologies, LLC
Randall Dear, Bell Technologies, LLC
Les Bottoms, Siemens
Terry Weaver, Apache Corporation
Address inquiries to: Dave Bell
Phone: 713-465-7575 (office)
Address: 9135 Spring Branch, Ste. 204
Houston, Texas 77080
2.0 Definition of Test Devices
1.) TORUSWEDGE Meter – TW meter assembly as tested
Note: This information is the property of Bell Technologies, LLC. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without prior written approval of Dave Bell, Owner, Bell Technologies, LLC. A limited number of copies will be printed. Each copy is numbered and assigned to the recipient by name and company. A recipient may request additional copies from Bell Technologies. Recipients may not copy and distribute this report.
Drilling mud is a mixture of water / oil, Xanthan Gum and Barite. This mixture is used to flush the drill cuttings from the well as it is being drilled. Depending on the depth and type of the well, the mud density may require adjustment.
The drilling industry has tried a number of methods -- the latest being the Coriolis -- to measure the flow of drilling mud but, there have been problems found with all of them. Some of the more common issues are:
1.) Cost (purchasing, installation and maintenance)
2.) Caking – mud buildup (loss of flow, high differential pressure)
3.) Multi-phase flow measurement (loss of flow signal)
Even with these known issues, the industry continues to use the Coriolis to measure mudflow while they search for a product or technology that solves the aforementioned problems. Bell Technologies, LLC (BTLLC) has a patented design for a circumferential DP (Differential Pressure) primary flow element. Bell Technologies, LLC believes that this device, the TORUSWEDGE (TW), can resolve these problems.
BTLLC commissioned an independent test of the TW to evaluate its performance when used to measure the flow of drilling mud. The test compared the performance of the TW to that of a Coriolis, which was used as a master meter. In order to insure an objective and unbiased test, BTLLC engaged Jason Norman, Senior Drilling Fluids Manager for Zaxxon Instruments. Jason Norman oversaw the test and the equipment setup.
2.) TORUSWEDGE -- Circumferential DP primary flow element
3.) Coriolis – Vibrating multi-tube density / flow rate instrument
3.0 Test Location
Most mudflow test facilities are difficult to locate and
are generally not available for independent testing.
Compatible Components Corporation (CCC) in Houston,Texas was contacted by Dave Bell of Bell Technologies,LLC, and Jason Norman of Zaxxon Instruments andasked if they would provide their lab for the flow test.
CCC agreed. Compatible Components has a mudflow
loop for testing its products that are designed to
enhance mud flow performance in the drilling industry.
Test loop at CCC facility
Schematic of the CCC Facility Flow Loop
1.) 800-gallon mud tank
2.) 850 GPM mud pump
3.) 4” Class 600 Coriolis meter
4.) 4” Class 150 TW insert with meter piping
5.) Differential Pressure transmitter calibrated to 0-400” H2O
6.) Combination of pipe and hose
7.) PLC with appropriate software
4.0 Test Process
1.) Water was used to establish a baseline for the test.
2.) The pump was run for the duration of the test at varying flow rates and data was continuously recorded.
3.) The flow loop was filled with water and all air was vented at the high points.
4.) A comparative test was conducted on water at varying flow rates between the Coriolis and the TORUSWEDGE.
5.) Injection of the Xanthan Gum increases the viscosity of the fluid and acts as a carrier for the Barite powder.
6.) The first Barite powder injection was then added to increase the density.
7.) A second Barite powder injection was added to increase density.
Dave Bell, Jason Norman, Sean King, and Randall Dear review the drilling mud test results from the Nov. 6, 2014.
5.0 Test Results
The following test results were recorded:
1.) The test ran for four hours.
2.) Data was collected every second.
3.) The Coriolis data illustrated the problems that currently exist when used in mud measurement. In comparison, the TORUSWEDGE did not exhibit any of the problems presented by the Coriolis meter during the test.
4.) The test data proved that the TW measures multi-phase flow.
5.) The Coriolis failed to function during multi-phase flow.
6.) The following graphs are representative of 18 different flowing conditions present during the four-hour test. These graphs were developed from the data test points taken during the test. A title and description of each graph (presented as numbered “Figures”) is provided below.
Figure 1: System Start-up
Water was used as a baseline fluid. The graph shows the comparison of the TW and the Coriolis.
Figure 2: Water Flow Continued
The conditions remain the same.
Figure 3: Water Flow Rate Change
Flow rate impacts on TW vs. Coriolis. The graph shows that the TW is less affected by rate change than the Coriolis.
Figure 4: Water Flow Rate Continued
Shows the continuous flow rate upset effects on the Coriolis vs. the TW.
Figure 5: Xanthan Gum Injection (Hi-Viscosity)
During the gum powder injection, a multi-phase flow was created by air injection. The graph shows the effects of multi-phase flow on the TW and the Coriolis.
Figure 6: Continuation of Xanthan Gum Injection
The data shows that the Xanthan Gum has created an unstable output from the Coriolis while the TW continues to show a stable volumetric flow rate.
Figure 7: Air Impact on Coriolis
As air is introduced into the system, it creates a multi-phase flow. The output of the Coriolis goes to zero. Throughout the process, the TW continues to output a stable volumetric flow reading.
Figure 8: Non-Homogenous Gum Mixture
The Coriolis remains impacted by air while the TW continues to output a stable volumetric flow reading.
Figure 9: Gum Stabilization Effect on Coriolis
As the gum is stabilized and multi-phase flow conditions are eliminated, the Coriolis begins to respond. Throughout the process, the TW continues to output a stable volumetric flow reading.
Figure 10: Gum Stabilization Continued
The Coriolis recovers and is outputting a volumetric flow reading. The TW continues to output a stable volumetric flow reading.
Figure 11: First Barite Injection
During the first barite injection, air is again introduced into the system creating a multi-phase flow. As a result of the multi-phase flow, the Coriolis goes to zero. Throughout the process, the TW continues to output a stable volumetric flow reading.
Figure 12: First Barite Blending
During the blending process, there still exists a multi-phase flow. The Coriolis remains at zero during this process. The TW continues to output a volumetric flow reading but shows the impact of a multi-phase barite loaded process.
Figure 13: Continuation of Barite Blending
The process fluid is still in a multi-phase state. The Coriolis’ output is still at zero. The TW is still outputting a volumetric flow reading.
Figure 14: First Barite (Coriolis Recovery)
The return to homogeneous flow represents the return of the Coriolis. The TW is still outputting a volumetric flow reading.
Figure 15: First Barite Stabilization
The homogeneous mixture has stabilized and the results show the corresponding outputs of the TW and the Coriolis.
Figure 16: Second Barite Injection
The return of multi-phase flow represents the impact on the Coriolis. The unstable density increase begins to show a change in the stability of the TW.
Figure 17: Second Barite Blending (Density Upset)
The continuation of multi-phase flow continues to show the instability of the Coriolis. The change in density from 7.277 lb. to 12.040 lb. begins to have some impact on the TW.
Figure 18: Second Barite Stabilized (Coriolis Recovery)
The return to homogeneous mixture shows that the density is stabilizing around 10.09 lbs. per gallon.
The objective of the test was to compare the performance of the TORUSWEDGE against the Coriolis (the standard in the industry) in mudflow applications. The products were subjected to multiple flow rates and densities utilizing water, gum and Barite.
The results of the test provide proof that when used to measure mud flow under multiphase conditions, the TORUSWEDGE performs reliably and consistently. It would appear that the TORUSWEDGE outperforms the Coriolis under the most difficult application conditions.
The key points are as follows:
1.) The TORUSWEDGE volume flow output remains stable during all phases of testing -- including transitional periods when air, liquids and solids particulates (multi-phase flow) were present. The Coriolis provides a volume flow output during homogeneous flow but not during multi-phase flow.
2.) The TW flow rate indication was consistent when compared to the Coriolis during periods of homogenous flow.
Note: This report and the data it contains is proprietary information and remains the property of Bell Technologies, LLC. The unauthorized distribution of this data is prohibited.