Flowmeters cut oil platform costs

Paul Boughton

Flowmeter manufacturer Litre Meter has supplied more than 100 VFF positive displacement flowmeters for Integrated Flow Systems (IFS) in a deal worth almost US$350,000.

The meters form part of a chemical injection metering skid system to be installed in Chevron's Tombua Landana Drilling and Production Platform located offshore Angola, Block 14.

In order to fulfil the order for the injection rate control device (IRCD) skid Litre Meter had to undergo a rigorous accreditation process to attain Underwriters Laboratories (UL) explosion proof certification for equipment used in hazardous locations.

This means that Litre Meter flowmeters have safety certification for use anywhere that UL safety standards must be adhered to. IFS specified Litre Meter because it required UL certified equipment and had used similar VFF flow meters on another large project. The meters supplied are low flow meters designed to measure a range of chemicals including demulsifier, defoamer, scale inhibitor, water clarifier, corrosion inhibitors and methanol.

Accurately controlling the amounts of chemicals, such as corrosion inhibitors, that are added to crude oil is essential to minimising production costs. If too much is used they need to be removed when the oil is refined - and this can cost nearly 10 per cent of the price of a barrel of oil.

These chemicals are also expensive. Typically thirty per cent of the running costs of an oil rig are associated with the chemicals used to pre-treat crude oil before it is pumped shore side. The VFF flowmeters measure the flow of the inhibitor chemical to an accuracy of 0.5 per cent, making it possible to control its use to a very high tolerance.

Litre Meter's VFF flowmeter is suited for use in the petrochemical industry and in particular for low flow / high pressure applications. As well as receiving UL accreditation, years of experience in chemical injection applications onshore and offshore have confirmed the instrument's capability of reliably measuring fluids with particle contamination.

The VFF flowmeter is suitable for measuring liquids at pressure ratings up to 4,000 bar (60,000 psi) and flow rates from 0.0004 l/m (0.5 litres per day) to over 270 l/min. It is of intrinsically safe design and manufactured to operate reliably at temperatures ranging from -40 to 100°C.

Flow meters on the Tombua Landana metering skid operate at pressures up to 3,675 psig and have been calibrated to monitor a variety of flow rates from 0.0 l/h up to 295 l/h.

VFF flowmeter


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