male professor standing at mobile work table displaying large clear sealed cylinder containing sectioned internal chambers with pipes and other equipment attached externally

Primarily used for teaching, this laboratory is used for short research testing, and provides equipment and procedures for the physical analysis of oilfield fluids including oilfield emulsions, water and sediment in oils, and gas and liquid metering. A working water well is used in conjunction with the lab for analysis of transient pressure and sucker rod pumps. As an instructional facility, its main focus is for production engineering where students are trained in the acquisition and evaluation of fluid data with an emphasis on development of procedures for handling oilfield fluid samples.

male student at work station featuring centrifugal pump system and piping is demonstrating control panel functions to surrounding students

Equipment and experiments include:

  • Two gas “reservoirs” of 120-gallon volume, each outfitted with accurate pressure gauges and mass flow meters so that two teams of students can perform P/Z reservoir depletion and projected ultimate recovery experiments simultaneously.
  • Two Fluid Friction Pressure stations for measuring liquid friction pressure drops through various sized pipe with different surface roughness, including effects of pipe bends and presence of valves and similar flow restrictions. The experiments are relevant to design of well tubing, surface piping and related hardware.
  • Two Gas-Liquid two phase flow loops with 3-inch, 2-inch and 1-inch clear piping for determining two-phase flow regimes in horizontal and vertical flow. In addition to setting up various flow regimes by varying air and water throughput, students relate the various regimes to such diverse phenomena as gas lift, liquid holdup/loading and slugging problems during production.
  • Two Twin Centrifugal Pump benches. The two pumps on each bench can be arranged singly, in parallel (mimics high flow rate/low pressure drop of liquids at the surface) and in series (mimics two stages of an electrical submersible pump). Experiments lead to computation of pump efficiency, pressure head, horsepower, recommended operating range and effects of added pump stages. Limitations of C-pumps, such as cavitation and loss of prime are also examined.
  • Three phase separator benches. The acrylic separators are transparent so that students can design and observe efficient separation of air, water and hydraulic oil as well as process upsets such as emulsion formation and carryover. Fluid input flow rates are measured with pitot tube (air), turbine meter (water) and gear meter (oil). Separated liquid drainage rates are measured with sonic meters attached to drain lines. 

two large upright 120-gallon reservoir tanks connected by pipes to nearby equipment

In addition to the above equipment with two workstations each, the lab’s gas flow loop with three spools containing different size orifice plates has been upgraded with upstream and downstream variable chokes, mass flowmeter, and Barton gauges so that students can become familiar with methodology of field gas flow measurement.

series of gas flow piping loops with affixed measuring dials mounted on brackets attached to a wall