Overcoming Project Restart and Flow Measurement Challenges

I guess it’s maybe not true for most who fill up their cars at the gas station, but I’m happy seeing the steady rise in the price of a barrel of crude oil. Given the number of jobs affected in the oil & gas upstream, midstream and downstream industries here in Texas, higher prices are welcomed by many.

WorldOil: Versatile DP flow metering technology solves redesign challenges on offshore platform projectIn a World Oil article, Versatile DP flow metering technology solves redesign challenges on offshore platform project, Emerson’s Panthini Patel teamed up with Wood’s Bridget Spencer and Suganya Kandasamy, formerly with Emerson Impact Partner Laurentide Controls.

Panthini, Bridget and Suganya open the article noting a huge challenge of an offshore project being put on hold for several years.

Some of the engineers, who had carried out the original work, were still available, but mostly the project team was new and had to restart from the original notes, specifications and drawings. Much of the piping and instrumentation layout work had been completed, but a request from the client meant it had to be re-opened.

Originally, the piping design had accounted for a different flow measurement technology than differential pressure (DP) flow measurement. The new project team chose DP as the standard for flow metering. This long-proven technology is known for its:

  • Simplicity
  • Scalability
  • Adaptability
  • Economy
  • Accuracy

The problem with this design decision:

…this late in the game, and retrofitting a different flow metering technology with potentially longer meter run requirements, presented a challenging but ultimately manageable set of problems to solve.

For traditional DP flow measurement, the:

…ISO 5167 standard specifies 44 diameters of straight pipe upstream from the primary element, and an additional seven diameters downstream. With something as small as 1-in. (DN 25) pipe, this equates to approximately 4 ft (1.2 m) of required upstream piping.

Rosemount 1595 Conditioning Orifice PlateWorking together with the Laurentide Controls and Emerson experts, the project team found a solution in:

…replacing the conventional plates with conditioning orifice plates…to reduce the straight run piping requirements… Multiple smaller orifices help flatten the flow profile without the need for long pipe lengths. In fact, using a conditioning orifice reduces the straight pipe requirement to only two diameters upstream and two diameters downstream in most applications.

Another big challenge for the project team was to handle a wide range of flow rates coming from the various wells on the platform.

However, getting into a 25:1 turndown range requires a significant pressure drop, which is impractical when working with the higher-producing wells.

Read the article for the solution which involved using a Daniel Senior Dual-Chamber Orifice fitting, which enables an orifice plate, with no loss of pressure:

…to be slid out of position into a second chamber, where it can be replaced with a different orifice plate and placed back into operating position.

Visit the Differential Pressure Flow Meters and Transmitters section on Emerson.com for more on the flow meters, flow transmitters, primary elements, and other tools to find the right solution for your flow metering applications. You can also connect and interact with other flow measurement experts in the Measurement Instrumentation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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