Spinlock | Oil & Gas – Fuels
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The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is positioning as a superior technology for the challenge of online measurement of volume, speed and cut of multiphase flow (oil, water and gas) without separating the individual phases, with immediate results and without disrupting production.

The advantages of this technology are related to the industry challenges that still require solution:

  • Complete, online and non-destructive multiphase cut and flow measurement: Resonance cut and flow measurement solves the problem of separating the phases for measurement, taking samples or sending them to storage tanks for the measurement of separate liquid phases.
  • Clean technology: Most existing meters use gamma ray absorption technology for fluid identification. Radioactive components are strongly rejected in the industry, and Magnetic Resonance is seen as the harmless technological solution.
  • Independence of differential pressure measurement: Since flow quadratic dependence restricts the meter operating range. Magnetic Resonance advantage is justified because it does not require fluid differential pressure data.
  • Accuracy on high water cuts: When water cut rates (water liquid ratio, WLR) are high, the measurement error of oil net production increases exponentially. For certain applications, especially on mature wells in secondary extraction, there is a need for reducing the error rates and increasing the accuracy.


Thanks to the development of Magnetic Resonance Multiphase Flow Meters, Spinlock is globally considered one of the greatest technology pioneers, having requested and obtained US invention patents, and developed the first approved prototypes of Multiphase Flowloops. Today, continuing their work on the development of next generation technology of Magnetic Resonance Multiphase Measurement, Spinlock is a world leader in the development and production of Magnetic Resonance Multiphase Flow Meter equipment.

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Spinlock actively contributes to deposit and parent rock studies, bringing technological solutions based on Time-Domain Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (TD-NMR).

Magnetic Resonance has been traditionally used for measurement of deposit petrophysical properties on rock samples (core plugs), particularly T1 and T2 measurements for determining parameters such as porosity, accumulated and total porosity, wettability, permeability, distribution profile and pore size, etc.

Unique characteristics of Spinlock equipments are added to these traditional tests, performed with a variety of Spinlock SLK Series equipments, which technologically distinguish them from those of the competitors.

Non-Conventional Deposit Measurement (Shale)

Porosity measurement of non-conventional deposits (Shale Oil & Gas) now is possible due to technological advances of SLK Series equipments. The main advantage is the SLK hardware that allows ultra-short echo time measurements: TE < 60µs.
In this way, critical petrophysical information of Shales results in spin–spin relaxation (T2) values within a few milliseconds. This is because of the smallest pore size of this type of rock. It is therefore necessary a short downtime and rapid recovery spectrometer which allows echo times of less than 60 microseconds. With this aim in mind, Spinlock has developed the SLK PM Series (SLK 110 PM, SLK 1500 PM, SLK 2500, and SLK 4000).

Data Processing Module (2D ILT).

The measurement software also has special requirements for these applications. To measure petrophysical properties of oil rocks, a number of experiments should be performed to determine the specified parameters. It is necessary to ensure that T1, T2, T1-D, and T2-D tests can be carried out, and data can be processed on two-dimensional maps by multi-exponential inversion. For this, it is essential the LITE 2D ILT Condor Module for data processing on a T1-T2 map by two-dimensional inverse Laplace transform.

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The range of possible applications of magnetic resonance also extends to oil and gas industry, contributing to quality and process control in the refinery area.

These applications include measurements based on international standards governing everything from the entire measurement and control procedure to new applications being developed in Spinlock to take advantage of the potential of technology in areas hitherto unknown.

Measurement of Hydrogen Content of Middle Distillate Petroleum Products by Low-Resolution Pulsed Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (ASTM D7171-05).

Today the use of Pulsed Magnetic Resonance Technology has been standardized as official method for the determination of hydrogen content in fuels. The focus of the method remains centered on the evaluation of middle distillate petroleum products by low-resolution pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry.

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Under reservoir conditions, at high pressure and temperature, paraffin and gas fragments are dissolved in the oil under low thermodynamic equilibrium. The thermodynamic equilibrium condition is modified in the oil production stage. In particular, there is a sharp reduction on its pressure and temperature. During this process, there is a quick crystallization, starting from higher molecular weight components: waxes in general and paraffins in particular.

Removing the paraffin deposition from the production tubing generally causes environmental damage. As a result, it is more economic to implement means to avoid paraffin depositions rather than repairing tubing obstructions by this substance.

The tools to control paraffin depositions based on magnetic media meet environmental safety conditions, but their usage must be properly controlled according to the production fluid rheology. A uniform magnetic field perpendicular to flow direction interacts with magnetic moments specially provided by aromatic rings, guiding large wax molecules to liquid flow direction, and avoiding deposition due to an increase of the local viscosity around a paraffin crystal grow seed.

The magnetic field on fluid molecules mainly guides paraffin molecules and reduces for a certain period their viscosity, while considerably increases the shear stress/shear rate relationship. The following figures show demonstrative data of random samples:


It is clearly observed precise relationships between magnetic field intensity, fluid exposure time to this magnetic field, fluid temperature, and fluid viscosity reduction. Other factors also contribute to paraffin deposition reduction, such as the brine content. Therefore, it is concluded that for each type of multiphase flow and for each thermodynamic condition of the well, a deposition reduction system should be properly designed.

Spinlock has a Multiphase Loop to design and evaluate the magnetic treatment tool for different flow conditions, depending on well thermodynamic conditions and chemical composition of the multiphase production flow.

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