Multiphase metering has enabled addressing a number of flow assurance challenges, including the detection of scale formation. This capability is especially appreciated in subsea fields, where the physical access is restricted and flow assurance challenges can be detrimental to maintaining production with a reasonable cost. The scale detection capability of the multiphase flowmeters using live multiphase flow data facilitates a proactive approach by the operators to detect and remediate productivity and flow assurance issues arising out of scale deposition.

A successful early-stage detection of scales in an oil well in deepwater field offshore Ghana via remote monitoring of multiphase metering data is reported. The displacement of the operating point of the multiphase meter and the swift developments in a matter of days provided the necessary live data for the hypothesis of the scale formation in the meter's venturi. Necessary mitigation action was taken and increases in production due to removal of scale demonstrated presence of scale. An in-house-developed remote surveillance and diagnostic system carried out this detection. The results of this project demonstrate the practical capability of remote monitoring of multiphase metering data for flow assurance purposes.

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