Even if renewable energy sources are catching up, oil and gas continue to grease the wheels of the global economy. TÜV SÜD therefore invests heavily in their ­further development and efficiency enhancement. For example in Scotland: a unique testing and research ­center for multiphase flow measurement is currently being constructed by the UK subsidiary TÜV SÜD Ltd and its business unit TÜV SÜD NEL, where testing and research of liquid and gaseous components simultaneously will be conducted. The science behind multiphase flow and metrology can reduce operating costs and improve profitability of offshore oil and gas fields.

Boreholes can be drilled up to a depth of 10,000 meters, the pressure can rise to 1,000 bar and oil and gas rigs are now extending into the Arctic Ocean. Today, such extreme conditions are typical for offshore exploration of oil and gas reserves because most of the easily accessible fields have already been tapped. Therefore the question regularly arises as to whether exploration and development is viable in view of the higher costs involved. The answer is yes, if the technology of the components, systems and plant used are optimally matched to each other. Among other things, it must be possible to measure the oil-water-gas mixture extracted from the borehole as efficiently as possible to precisely allocate the quantities of valuable fossil fuels. TÜV SÜD NEL specializes in the research and technological testing of this multiphase flow. The leading specialist worldwide is located in Scotland, where large oil and gas reserves have been extracted off the coasts since the 1960s.

Muir Porter
Group Head TÜV SÜD NEL

World’s leading institution

“We face two enormous challenges. One of these is the trend towards accurately analyzing the pumped mixture on the seafloor. For this we need to further develop the technical equipment for use in extreme conditions. The second challenge is conducting fundamental research to better understand the physical behaviour of multiphase flow patterns used in extreme subsea environments,” explains Muir Porter, Group Head TÜV SÜD NEL. The new subsea Center of Excellence (CoE), which is currently being built, will be well-equipped to deal with both. It should start operations at the beginning of 2019. The heart of the facility will be a huge 270 tonne gravity separator which, as part of a pressurized flow loop, will enable a globally unique test spectrum of process operating conditions for the investigation and testing of single and multiphase flow patterns and technology. Understanding the physics of the changing flow regimes helps to measure the flow of the constituent components with much greater certainty. In addition, the specialists of the future CoE will facilitate, among other things, company-led joint industrial projects, metrology consultancy, technology development and product testing, industrial training and science research. Muir Porter sums up the unique added value of the new center: “Our research, test and development centre directly addresses the drive to reduce hydrocarbon extraction costs in a price-sensitive environment, coordinates scientific research, develops new technologies and improves data management.”

The Center will directly address the drive to reduce hydrocarbon extraction costs in a price-sensitive ­environment.

TÜV SÜD has invested over € 18 million in Glasgow, one third of which was supported by the Scottish Enterprise organization. The research and testing capability will also benefit other industries such as the pharmaceutical, agricultural, foodstuffs and aerospace industries as well as renewable energies.

Video with Muir Porter: On the trail of oil, gas and water

The Center
at a

Total investment

€ 18 million

Building space

square meters

No. of jobs


Liquid separator
at the heart of
the ­center


33 m


2,6 m


270 t

of operations