Low Field NMR Water Cut Metering

Wright, I., Lastockin, D., Allsopp, K., Evers-Dakers, M.E. and Kantzas, A.

DOI: 10.2118/2002-194 & 10.2118/04-05-TN3 & 10.2118/77408-MS
Canadian International Petroleum Conference, 11-13 June, Calgary, Alberta, 2002;
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, 43(05), May 2004;
SPE 77408, presented at the 2002 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio Texas, 29 September – 2 October 2002.


We have developed a new on line water cut meter using low field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) technology. This instrument is designed for use on heavy oil systems where conventional instruments experience difficulties.

We present laboratory and field data for application of low field NMR to water cut measurements of bitumen/water mixtures. Data from successful field tests near Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, shows that the instrument is capable of making water cut measurements over a wide range of fluid types and temperatures. We have successfully measured fluid streams with temperatures ranging from 60 to 150 degrees Centigrade and with water cut ranging from 40 to 95 percent. The instrument is capable of functioning accurately over a wide range of emulsions and/or foams and through significant variations of water salinity.

The current application is for water cut measurements on a well site. However, the instrument can be applied in any system where heavy oil, bitumen, water, gas and solid systems may be encountered. It can be used for water cut and/or for three phase (oil/water/gas) volume fraction measurements. The instrument is equally capable of performing well site monitoring for regulatory/reconciliation purposes, for characterizing produced fluids, in separation, pipelining and upgrading processes for process control and for quality testing.

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