ProLabNL services

Advanced testing facility for process equipment & instrumentation

ProLabNL offers full range of test facilities, including the most advanced multiphase flow loop worldwide, simulating realistic oil and gas field conditions from small to full scale under low or high pressure conditions. World leading oil and gas companies and equipment suppliers are using ProLabNL extensively for high profile process equipment development and technology qualification programs for upstream oil and gas and process industrial applications.


ProLabNL provides a full range of test facilities for oil and gas process equipment and instrumentation; from low pressure to high pressure test loops using model fluids and actual live hydrocarbons to simulate realistic oil and gas field conditions. The low pressure test loops offer visual observation possibilities with tests from small to full scale at LP (Low Pressure) conditions using model fluids, whereas the multiphase high pressure test loop offers 100% realistic HP (High Pressure) tests, at actual scale, using actual crude and HP natural gas.

ProLabNL has proven its expertise in a number of high profile process equipment development and qualification for oil and gas industries projects in the past decade. ProlabNL is not involved in equipment design and supply but focuses on testing services for third parties only.

Our flowloops can be used for technology qualification of process equipment and instruments such as multiphase and wet gas flowmeters, separation equipment, cooling equipment, etc. for the oil and gas industries.

Test facilities

ProLabNL has three flow loop areas which are designed to support the different stages of a technology qualification project:

  - LP Flow Loops & MP Loop: ProLabNL offers up to eight (8) LP flow loops for small to full scale testing at low pressure (atmospheric to 7 barg) with model fluids (model oils, air, water). The equipment used in the LP loops offers visual observation of the internal phenomena that enable thorough verification of CFD modeling results.

The MP loop area is an extension of the ATEX zone (HP Loop area) which allows for atmospheric to low pressure testing with crude oil and is suitable for loops similar to the ones in the LP flow loop area.

  - HP Loop: The HP loop is used for large scale testing under realistic field conditions using live hydrocarbons (crude oil and natural gas). Testing in the HP loop is the final stage of a typical technology qualification project.

Testing in all three flow loop areas is supported by fluid properties characterization done in our state-of-the-art in-house Analytical Laboratory. The laboratory analyses of samples is done using industry accepted testing standards (like ASTM) and complies with the ISO standards (ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO45001).

Technological qualifications

Technology qualification is critical to oil & gas process equipment, with the following factors play an important role:

  - The need for unconventional process solutions has strongly increased.
  - New equipment needs to be thoroughly tested and characterized before it can be operated under oil and gas field conditions.
  - Major operators do not want to take risks with untested process equipment. Mitigating the risks through proper technology qualification is critical.

Technology qualification process takes place in four (4) phases:

Phase 1:
  - Analytical design work
  - CFD modeling
  - Optimization of design

Phase 2:
  - Small scale testing with model fluids at atmospheric or low pressure
  - Visual observation of tests (wherever possible / feasible) to correlate with CFD modeling results

Phase 3:
  - Large scale testing with model fluids at atmospheric or low pressure
  - Visual observation of tests (wherever possible / feasible) to correlate with CFD modeling results

Phase 4:
  - Large scale testing with live fluids at high pressure simulating realistic field conditions
The requirements for a successful qualification project are:
  - Test conditions need to be as realistic as possible (both equipment scale and fluid properties)
  - In order to identify and quantify physical phenomena that play a critical role, it is also necessary to carry out visual tests and simulations (e.g. CFD)
  - Relevant experience / expertise to interpret results is critical
These requirements are all covered by the expertise of our engineers and the characteristics of our flowloops, and enable us to provide reliable and fast technology qualification in all the required phases of a project. In addition, ProlabNL can offer the following additional value to qualification projects:

  - Tests with automated data acquisition and control systems
  - Visual observation of tests (only in Low Pressure flowloops) to correlate with CFD modeling results
  - Correlate test results with CFD simulation results
  - Fluid characterization analytical laboratory on site
  - Droplets size distribution analysis expertise with high speed cameras and laser diffraction measurements.
  - Ability to customize flow loops (whenever feasible) to meet client's test requirements
  - Extensive experience with model fluids and live hydrocarbons (natural gas and crude oils)
  - Option for client to remotely observe the tests in real time
  - Option for testing on-site using pilot units (Desanding HC skid, Deoiling HC skid, Test Separator, DUSEC Coalescer Skid)
ProlabNL has flow loops available to perform testing of oil and gas equipment for third parties as follows:
  - Multiphase flow meter testing 
  - Testing with mixtures of sand oil, water and air (sand settling, erosion, fluidisation, slurry transport etc)
  - Evaluation of flow regimes, slugging behavior in flowlines
  - Droplet size measurement in oil/water flows, gas/liquid flows etc
  - 2 phase gas-liquid separation  (both conventional and compact process equipment)
  - 3 phase oil-water-gas separation  (conventional and compact equipment)
  - Produced water treatment equipment
  - Other tests, subject to technical evaluation and feasibility of testing

Low Pressure Flowloops and MP Loop

ProlabNL offers the following low presure-atmospheric loops:


Atmospheric test loop I

  - 2.500 Am3/h air and 25 m3/h of liquid (hydrocarbon liquid + water)

  - Equipped with 20 inch vertical scrubber.


Atmospheric test loop II

  - 1.500 Am3/h air and 200 m3/h of liquid (hydrocarbon liquid + water)

  - Equipped with  see-through separator of 1.200 mm ID.


Hydrocyclone test loop

The test loop has a liquid handling capacity of up to 3 – 12 m3/h of oily water (up to 2.000 ppm OiW).


Compact Bulk De-oiling Cyclone test loop

The test loop has a liquid handling capacity of up to 16 m3/h of liquid (multiple cyclone liners in a max three stage configuration, up to 30% v/v hydrocarbon liquid).


Inline Desanding test loop

  - Feed section: 125 m3/hr liquid (4” piping).

  - Test section: equipped with sand feeder with a range of 1.000 ppm.


Sand Removal Cyclone test loop

  - 50 m3/h water flow rate

  - Equipped in a 6 m long 2.000 mm ID open vessel.


Sand Management System Test Loop

  - Feed section: 20 – 40 m3/h water


Gas Flotation Test Loop

  - Up to 100 m3/h water with up to 400 ppm oil in water

 - Equipped with see-through flotation vessel of 1.200 mm ID x 6 m long


Material of Construction in the LP and MP Loops:

  - Stainless steel

  - PVC (normal and transparent) and Plexiglass (only for visual observation at atmospheric pressure)


Adjustments of flowloops, including test sections, are possible to meet customers’ needs. Depending on the complexity of the project, one or more flowloops can be adjusted and/or combined to make one big flowloop for the project.


ProlabNL also provides particle size analysis using laser diffraction technology and high speed camera which enable liquid-liquid, liquid-gas and solid-liquid droplets size measurements, droplets behaviour in emulsions etc.


MP Loop: The MP Loop area is an extension of the HP flowloop ATEX Zone. Testing in the MP flowloop can be done using loops similar to the ones in the LP flowloop area, with an added feature - testing can be done with crude oil. 


High Pressure Flowloop
prolab table
The table provides the operating envelopes of both modes of operation of the HP flowloop.
High Pressure full hydrocarbon test flow loop


The test flow loop offers 100% actual scale conditions for oil and gas processing technology qualification. It has a design pressure of 90 barg and can serve up to 60 barg test condition. The gas and liquid phases are pumped and metered independently in the flow loop. These phases are commingled upstream of the test section in the flow loop. The flow loop has the flexibility to fulfill clients’ requirements for equipment and instrumentation development and qualification in the test sections.  The combination of 3-phase operation, live hydrocarbon fluids and full scale flow rates make this the most performant multiphase flow loop worldwide.


The loop is configured  with 10″ feed piping and Duplex SS material for  all wetted parts.


The HP flow loop has been successfully used by major oil and gas producers in the following application areas:


          2-phase (gas/liquid and liquid/liquid) conventional and compact separator testing


–          3-phase (gas/liquid/liquid) conventional and compact separator testing


          Multiphase and Wet Gas flow meter tests at full scale (both topside and subsea applications)



Testing in the HP flow loop can be done using a combination of any of the following fluids:

  - Natural gas, Nitrogen, natural gas with up to 40% vol. CO2

  - Crude Oil

  - Model Oil (Exxsol and the like)

  - Fresh water, salt water (up to 18% wt or 200 g/l salinity)


Flow Loop and Required Test Equipment Design Conditions:

  - Design Pressure: max. 90 barg ≈ 1305 psig

  - Design Temperature: 0 – 120 °C ≈ 248 F

  - Differential Pressure across Test Section: max. 2,25 bar ≈ 33 psi



  • 20 - 1.200 Am3/hr natural gas

  • 0,1 - 150 m3/hr Hydrocarbon liquid ≈ 22.600 BPD

  • 0,1 - 150 m3/hr Water ≈ 22.600 BPD


Testing in the HP flow loop can be done using either OR both of the following modes of operation:


  - Option A: Wet Gas Mode

  - Option B: Multiphase Mode



  - Gas and Liquid reference meters

  - Temperature, Pressure and Differential Pressure transmitters

  - Online Gas Densitometer

  - Gas Volume Fraction

  - Nucleonic Level Measurement

Analytical Laboratory

ProLabNL features an on-site state-of-the-art full fluid property characterisation analytical laboratory. The benefit of on-site fluid characterisation done at ProLabNL's analytic laboratory is that it offers fast and reliable measurement of critical fluid properties that aids our clients in determining the performance of the equipment being tested in the flowloop.


We have the capability of doing the following sample analyses in our analytical laboratory:


   •           Density and Relative Density of Crude Oils by Digital Density Analyzer according to ASTM D5002

   •           Density and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter according to ASTM D4052

   •           Density and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter

   •           Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (15-20°C) according to ASTM D 445

   •           Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (20-60°C) according to ASTM D 455

   •           Dynamic Viscosity (20-60°C)

   •           Salinity

   •           Conductivity according to ASTM D1125

   •           Oil in water according to ASTM D 8193

   •           Oil in water (heptane extraction)

   •           pH of Water

   •           Water in Crude Oils by Distillation according to ASTM D4006

   •           Water in Petroleum Products and Bituminous Materials by Distillation according to ASTM D95

   •           Water in Crude Oils by Potentiometric Karl Fischer Titration according to ASTM D4377

   •           Water in Petroleum Products by Volumetric Glassware

   •           Temperature

   •           Water and Sediment in Crude Oil by the Centrifuge Method

   •           Bottle test

   •           Turbidity

   •           Vacuum filtration (up to 2L sample volume)

   •           Vacuum filtration (more than 2L sample volume)

   •           Flask/weighing method/analysis

   •           Determination of the viable aerobic microbial content of fuels and associated water (IP913 and ASTM D7978)

   •           Coagulation-Floculation Jar Test of Water according to ASTM D2035 (incl pH, turbidity and report)


The sample analyses done at ProLabNL are based on estabilished industry testing standards (ASTM) and meet ISO standards (ISO9001, 14001 and 45001).


ProlabNL can also collaborate with 3rd party analytical laboratories for spot checks and other analysis, if desired.


Mobile Pilot Units

ProLabNL can offer the following mobile pilot units for testing at the customer's site:

  - DUSEC Coalescer Skid
  - Deoiling Hydrocyclone Skid
  - Desanding Hydrocyclone Skid
  - Test Separator

ProLabNL can build pilot units according to your needs and specifications.


ProLabNL BV 
Leemansweg 13
6827 BX Arnhem
The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)26 376 0000 (general)
Fax: +31 (0) 26 376 0001
e-mail :

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