The TMF Project


Since 1996 the Programme has undertaken research aimed at improving commercial computer programs' performance and supplying validation data. Following on from the success of the original work in 1999 the sponsors requested several successive stages to the research programme, which continues to the present day.

The TMF Co-ordinated Projects have brought together leading researchers from 4 universities:

  • Bristol University
  • Cranfield University
  • Imperial College London
  • Nottingham University

This phase of co-ordinated research topics continues the very successful investigations to improve industry’s ability to understand Transient Multiphase Flows. It is jointly funded by Industry and the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the UK's Department of Trade and Industry. The industrial companies involved include many of those active in the exploration and development of oil and gas reserves and organisations developing and marketing computer programs for transient multiphase flow analysis.

Transient flows occur as a result of such operational or particular conditions as:-

  • Start up and shut down
  • Controlled blowdown
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Piping or equipment loss of integrity

TMF5 is a proposed research programme which has its roots in the extensive discussions with, and suggestions from, the industrial Sponsors of the current Joint Project on Transient Multiphase Flows and Flow Assurance (TMF4). TMF5 develops themes from the previous TMF projects:

  • Managed Programme on Transient Multiphase Flows (TMF1): 1996‑1999
  • Coordinated Project on Transient Multiphase Flow (TMF2): 1999‑2002
  • Joint Project on Transient Multiphase Flows (TMF3): 2002‑2006
  • Joint Project on Transient Multiphase Flow and Flow Assurance (TMF4); 2006‑2009
  • Joint Project on Transient Multiphase Flow and Flow Assurance (TMF5); 2009‑2011

Two key features of the TMF projects are:

a)The project is managed through Imperial College London. Research expertise, with analytical and experimental input in multiphase flow and related areas, are provided by Cranfield University, Nottingham University and Bristol University in addition to Imperial College London.

b)Funding from the UK Government through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) plays a vital role in enabling the projects and provides a large leverage for individual sponsors.

The continuation of work in this generic area from one project to the next is an indication of the ongoing importance of the area to the oil and gas industry. However, the sub-projects forming the basis of each successive TMF project have been chosen to reflect the evolving industrial priorities. These priorities have been established throughout by intensive consultation with the industrial partners and may be summarised as follows:

  • Optimum continued production from mature fields
  • Long-distance tie-backs
  • Development of small and marginal fields
  • Deeply-buried reservoirs
  • Development of deepwater fields
  • Heavy (highly viscous) oils

In the light of the above priorities, the broad overall objective of TMF5 can be stated as:

To provide information and methodologies which improve existing predictive, design and optimisation tools that industry can use in extending its operational envelopes both in exploiting existing fields and developing new ones.

The purpose of this web area is to provide technical information useful to people working on the Co-ordinated Projects of Research on Transient Multiphase Flows.
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