Following an extensive investigation, flow line repairs, integrity testing and approval of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB), Husky Energy will resume production from the remaining two drill centres shut in following the November 2018 oil spill offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Husky will now begin an orderly restart and expects to reach full rates by early next week.
Coriolis Mass Flow Meters Take Center Stage for Bulk Measurement in Oil and Gas Industry
Prized for accuracy, lower pressure drop and ease of installation
Accurate measurement of liquids is important for all oil and gas industry production or consumption sites. This is especially true for bulk transfer devices where large volumes of products are being moved and must be monitored, including crude oil depots, gasoline and jet fuel tank farms, refineries, and even cruise line terminals.
In the past, mass transfer was measured in batches with weigh scales or load cells. However installation, calibration, and maintenance of a scale or load cell are costly, difficult to do, time consuming, and don’t work for continuous processes. For these processes, such methods as orifice plates and magnetic flow tubes can measure volumetric flow, but additional instruments are needed to measure temperature and pressure to compensate for fluid density changes. Introducing additional instruments also introduces errors, which can result in an overall measurement error rate as high as three percent.
Now, several measurement standards are moving towards use of Coriolis mass flowmeters, which can measure mass flow directly, at the same time as they measure temperature and density. What’s more, transfer measurement by mass is the most accurate method, since mass is independent of, and unaffected by, changing process fluid characteristics, including pressure, temperature, viscosity, conductivity, and gravity.
Among the Coriolis devices available, the straight tube design is being hailed as the most accurate and easiest to install and maintain. Especially for measurement skids, widely used in the oil and gas industry, the straight tube Coriolis meter can be a factor in minimizing skid size, a definite plus for space-challenged sites.
The Coriolis effect – what is it and why does it help with bulk measurement?
In physics, the Coriolis effect is a deflection of moving objects when they are viewed in a rotating reference frame. In a reference frame with clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the left of the motion of the object; in one with counter-clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the right. The mathematical expression for the Coriolis force appeared in an 1835 paper by the French scientist Gaspard Gustave Coriolis, in connection with the theory of water wheels. 
Figure 1 provides a simple overview of a Coriolis measuring system, which makes use of the effect by using a symmetrical design consisting of one or two measuring tubes, either straight or curved.  A driver sets the measuring tube (AB) into a uniform fundamental oscillation mode.
When the flow velocity (v) equals 0 meters/second / 0 feet/second (0m/s / 0ft/s), the Coriolis force (Fc) is also 0. At flowing conditions, when the flow velocity (v) > 0 m/s / 0 ft./s, the fluid particles in the product are accelerated between points AC and decelerated between points CB.
The Coriolis force (Fc) is generated by the inertia of the fluid particles accelerated between points AC and of those decelerated between points CB.
This force causes an extremely slight distortion of the measuring tube that is superimposed on the fundamental component and is directly proportional to the mass flowrate. This distortion is picked up by special sensors. Since the oscillatory characteristics of the measuring tube are dependent on temperature, the temperature is measured continuously and the measured values corrected accordingly.
In a dual-tube Coriolis meter, a manifold splits the flow through each of the two tubes. The full flow always goes through the sensor. The two vibrating tubes rotate around the two fixed end points, creating a Coriolis effect when mass flows through.
Moving from mechanical meters to Coriolis mass flow meters
Measurement of petroleum fluids has been around for hundreds of years and has been performed fairly reliably with the use of a wide range of mechanical meters.
One significant drawback to mechanical meters is that they experience serious wear and tear, and can be plagued by high maintenance costs and the need for frequent replacement parts.
Also, mechanical meters have to be calibrated on a single grade, making recalibration, also known as meter proving, necessary each time a different product is measured. For example, suppose a facility is handling crude oil from Venezuela one day and from Texas on another day. Since these have a different fluid basis, the meter would have to be re-proved since the meter’s calibration factor is affected by a variety of fluid conditions, especially density. Custody system operators often need to use a prover for measuring one batch to another, reproving for every different fluid transaction.
All of this comes with a time and money cost. Usually the facility operator outsources these activities, which adds to the cost of running the facility.
Advances in manufacturing technology have led to the recent ability to make Coriolis meters in larger sizes, making them viable for oil and gas applications that have heretofore been the domain of mechanical meters. Coriolis meters have no moving parts, so they have fewer parts to maintain. Also, unlike mechanical meter measurements that are used for custody transfer, which have to be corrected using pressure and temperature compensation, the Coriolis meter measures product mass directly, independent of pressure and temperature.
Direct mass flow measurement with Coriolis mass flowmeters means that one flow meter with a single point of measurement can obtain multiple measured values, including mass flow and mass total, density and concentration, volume flow and volume total, and temperature. It also reduces overall costs, because there is only a single instrument to buy and maintain, cables and power consumption are reduced, and controls are simplified.
Figure 2 shows a graphic portrayal of a system that could be used for volumetric flow measurement.
Reducing pressure drop, improving accuracy, reliability and control
Reduction in pressure drop is one of the important differentiating factors between mechanical meters and Coriolis mass flow meters. Pushing fluids past a mechanical meter always creates a pressure drop, which is not recoverable. Every time one imposes a pressure drop, it must be overcome with the use of a pump, which adds equipment, cabling, and energy costs. Moving product always costs money; the costs of countering pressure drop definitely add up over time.
With a Coriolis mass flow meter, there will be no extra pressure drop across the meter. In most meters, there are twin tubes, and the only pressure drop is caused by splitting the flow into the two pipes inside the meter. Using the straight pipe Coriolis meter design creates less permanent pressure drop than the bent tube variety.
Accuracy is another important benefit gained with the use of the Coriolis meter. The vast majority of operators using mechanical flow meters are also running separate pressure and temperature meters. Say the mechanical flow meter exhibits a 0.5 percent accuracy error, the pressure meter also poses a 0.5 percent accuracy error, and the temperature meter a further 1 percent. When those values are combined in a flow corrector or computer, the overall calculated error rate could be 2 percent or higher. Plus, since each instrument drifts over time independently, accuracy would be further degraded, perhaps to as high as 3 percent. The Coriolis meter’s error rate is only 0.1 to 0.2 percent of rate, making it nominally five to ten times more accurate and its long term drift is minimal as compared to devices with moving parts
In addition, the Coriolis meter is easier to install and maintain. Especially for measurement skids that may have to fit into a relatively small footprint, the straight tube Coriolis meter takes up the smallest space with simple process piping. In addition, the straight tube design is considerably easier to clean than the bent tube version, which tends to get deposit build up on the tube, and much simpler than equivalent mechanical meters which would also require strainers and filters upstream.
Figure 3 shows how the meter would fit into the measurement skid.
A final benefit is the electronic controls, which provide more flexibility in terms of operational performance. Operators can view everything that is going on with the fluid, including volumetric flow, mass flow, density, and temperature. Most have options for multiple outputs, including digital converters that allow for direct MODBUS to see all the parameters. The available controls can ensure that the correct product is going through the meter, make sure product is drawn from the right tank, or tell the operator if the product is hotter or cooler than expected. More flexibility allows operators to maintain tighter control, which ultimately leads to less waste.
Ontario refinery chooses straight tube Coriolis meter
At one petroleum refinery site in Ontario, Canada that produces refined gasoline, jet fuel and other petroleum products, the operators ship and meter product through a 5-kilometer 8-inch pipeline that connects to a major Canadian pipeline, which in turn delivers the product to the Greater Toronto area. They needed to measure the product leaving the plant site and the product going to the shipping pipeline, and wanted a density reading at the same time. The refinery ships different products through one line and had to confirm that they were shipping the correct product.
The pipeline was large, the available real estate in the existing location was limited, and they did not want to do a large scale modification to install additional structural support for meters. They also wanted to limit pressure drop through the meter to avoid wasting energy and reduce the energy cost of running the pipeline.
The facility looked at various types of metering technologies, including ultrasonic, vortex shedding, and orifice plate meter, but ultimately chose a Coriolis mass flow meter, in part because they could get flow and density measurements from one device, making it possible to fit the device into their tight space.
Facility operators evaluated the use of both straight tube and bent tube Coriolis meters, and considered products available from several vendors. Cost of the two meter designs was equal, but installation costs for the straight tube meter were significantly lower. The straight tube design offered lower pressure drop and was less subject to plugging, but most importantly, it was simpler to install and took up less space than competitive options that were larger footprint devices.
They initially had reservations about selecting the straight tube design, because bent tube is the more traditional choice and there is a larger installed base for that design. However, they ultimately chose a straight tube OPTIMASS 2000 Coriolis meter from KROHNE (Figure 4), based on the meter’s lower installation costs, combined with its high accuracy and linearity, as well as the longer than usual 3-year warranty. In addition, the price included extensive onsite startup support included in the price. This support during the installation process was one factor that enabled the Canadian refinery to successfully install the straight tube Coriolis meter, with which it has been extremely pleased over the past three years.
The refinery makes use of the communication options to monitor the meter remotely from a laptop. Also, the meter’s sensor has its own built in smart sensor interface and on board memory, so the electronic converter/transmitter can talk directly to the sensor digitally. As shown in Figure 4, the two installed devices are remote and segregated while sharing device configuration data, so if there is a problem with either the sensor or the transmitter, authorized technicians can replace one or the other independently and sensor calibration files or converter parameters can be uploaded from either device, adding to the meter’s reliability.
Coriolis meters best choice for custody transfer of high value fluids
Custody transfer has a significant effect on the bottom line, so precision and reliability are key requirements. The evolution of the design of Coriolis mass flowmeters means that they can now compete better with traditional mechanical meters. For the bulk measurement of any fluid with a significant value, large diameter Coriolis mass flowmeters offer more accurate and repeatable bulk fluid transfer measurement than mechanical meters. Further, the straight tube Coriolis meter design offers the lowest pressure drop and highest accuracy.
More from Drilling & Production
CAS DataLoggers provided the data acquisition solution for MTS Solutions, an oil field service company headquartered in Bakersfield, California. MTS has been providing well stimulation services in California for over 30 years, maximizing production for clients using both traditional and green products. Data Acquisition Operations Engineer Kevin England explains, "We're a small business 25-man crew, as opposed to a multi-national company, so we needed a cost-effective monitoring solution for our jobs that still had the advanced functionality our customers require."
Baker Hughes announced that the Baker Hughes Rig Count for the U.S. is down 8 rigs from last week to 934, with oil rigs down 6 to 764, gas rigs down 2 to 169, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1. This is the tenth straight week that the American rig count has declined,
Single Phase Power Solutions, the world's only manufacturer of high horsepower single phase electric motors, match their motors to a pump to provide instant productivity. Available from 30 to 100 HP these single phase pump solutions are easily installed by simply connecting to available single phase utility power - they do not require a phase converter or Variable Frequency Drive (VFD). The company incorporates their Belle Single-Phase MotorT which uses Written-PoleR technology to power standard suction end centrifugal pumps, rotary gear pumps, and turbine pumps in both horizontal and vertical configurations. These pump solutions are ideal for irrigation, drinking water distribution, well pumps, aquifer management, water treatment, wastewater pumping, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment and discharge, and other water and wastewater processing applications. With expertise in pump systems design and manufacture, Single Phase Power Solutions team helps determine the correct materials and style of pump to suit specific application requirements.
CIRCOR International, a worldwide manufacturer of valves for the power generation, industrial, marine and oil and gas markets for over a century, features high-quality R.G. Laurence on/off control valves for applications demanding rapid opening and sealed closure. ATEX-certified and Factory Mutual-approved R.G. Laurence valves offer reliable performance in high temperature and extreme service conditions.
Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for July 2019 was 1,162, up 24 from the 1,138 counted in June 2019, and up 165 from the 997 counted in July 2018. The international offshore rig count for July 2019 was 255, up 9 from the 246 counted in June 2019, and up 38 from the 217 counted in July 2018.
RTK, a CIRCOR International brand, and an international leader in the design and manufacture of control valves and actuators, introduces the REflex Quick Change Seat Control Valve with REact 30 DC-PoP smart actuator, a flexible all-in-one solution for noise reduction and high pressure drop applications.
Baker Hughes announced that the Baker Hughes Rig Count for the U.S. is down 4 rigs from last week to 942, with oil rigs down 6 to 770, gas rigs up 2 to 171, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1.
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), in its third update to its 2019 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, announced that it is decreasing its forecasted number of wells to be drilled (rig released) across Canada for 2019 from 5,300 (May 2019 revision) to 5,100 wells drilled. PSAC based its updated 2019 Forecast on average natural gas prices of $1.60 CDN/Mcf (AECO), crude oil prices of US$57.00/barrel (WTI) and the Canada-US exchange rate averaging $0.76.
Weir Oil & Gas, an upstream provider of pressure pumping and pressure control equipment and services, has introduced the new SPM Quintuplex Extended Max (QEM) 5000 E-Frac Pump. This pump is the only true continuous-duty electric or gas turbine-capable 5,000-horsepower pump in production today, the company states.
Cenovus Energy Inc. recently reached one billion barrels of cumulative production from its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands facilities in northern Alberta. Cenovus is the first company to produce one billion barrels of oil using steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology.
Frac Shack Inc.'s newest innovation, the NG SideKick, is the industry's most sophisticated on-pad gas processing unit that takes in field natural gas and processes it down to a safe and usable state for multiple uses on any location. The SideKick depressurizes, heats, and removes liquids and hydrocarbons from field natural gas to ensure the gas is safe and available for use in any natural gas and bi-fuel engine on a hydraulic fracturing location.
Messer highlights new "Huff 'N Puff" treatment to recharge well stimulation at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2019
At URTeC 2019, Messer is highlighting its RECHARGE HNP, or "Huff ‘n Puff," technology, a proven solution for well production enhancement. Ideal for re-stimulating depleted oil and gas wells, the energized RECHARGE HNP treatment combines the proven enhanced recovery properties of carbon dioxide (CO2) or nitrogen (N2) with the latest in advanced nanoparticle technology from Nissan Chemical. URTeC takes place July 22 – 24 in Denver.
ESG successfully completes commercial test of high-temperature, high-pressure downhole microseismic system for hydraulic fracture monitoring
ESG Solutions has recently completed a successful commercial test of its new HOTSHOT downhole microseismic system in the Eagle Ford shale. HOTSHOT represents ESG's latest commitment to acquiring the highest quality microseismic data. The new downhole system was designed specifically for high-temperature, high-pressure operational environments up to 177°C/350°F and 10,000 psi.
SCHROEDAHL, a CIRCOR International brand and an international leader in pump protection and flow control technology, announces that new, self-modulating TDL Automatic Recirculation Valves (ARVs) are now available in more than 35% lighter cast material. These reliable all-in-one pump protection solutions are designed to keep pumping systems in process, firefighting, refinery, power and chemical applications modulating and running smoothly, without cavitation or overheating.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has commenced federal environmental assessments for the proposed BHP Canada Exploration Drilling Project and the Tilt Cove Exploration Drilling Project. The two projects are located between 300 and 325 kilometres east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, in the Atlantic Ocean.
Cleansorb, a provider of patented chemical well treatments that enhance hydrocarbon production for the international oil and gas industry, announced that following a series of successful ORCA for OBM treatments on offshore oil production wells and a water injection well drilled with OBM, increased production and water injectivity have been achieved on behalf of a major operator in the Middle East.
Baker Hughes Rig Count: U.S. - 6 to 969 rigs
- U.S. Rig Count is down 6 rigs from last week to 969, with oil rigs down 1 to 788, gas rigs down 5 to 181, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 0.
- U.S. Rig Count is down 90 rigs from last year's count of 1,059, with oil rigs down 75, gas rigs down 13, and miscellaneous rigs down 2.
- The U.S. Offshore Rig Count is up 1 rig to 24 and up 4 rigs year-over-year.
Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for May 2019 was 1,126, up 64 from the 1,062 counted in April 2019, and up 159 from the 967 counted in May 2018. The international offshore rig count for May 2019 was 240, down 11 from the 251 counted in April 2019, and up 42 from the 198 counted in May 2018.
Schlumberger has introduced the GAIA digital exploration platform at the 81st EAGE Conference & Exhibition. The GAIA platform enables exploration teams to rapidly discover and access basin-scale data and manage their exploration opportunities.
NETZSCH Pumps North America, LLC, experts in solutions designed specifically for difficult pumping applications, will be highlighting its NOTOS multiple screw pumps at the 2019 Global Petroleum Show (GPS), which will be held June 11-13, 2019, at BMO - Calgary Stampede Park, in Calgary, Canada. Visit Booth #1394 to see the NOTOS, which is ideal for pumping everything from light fuel oil to viscous asphalt. Also to be featured are NEMO full service-in-place (FSIP) progressing cavity pumps and TORNADO rotary lobe pumps.
Rotork intelligent full-turn electric actuators have been supplied for upstream shale gas production wells in the USA.
Siemens enters Permian gas processing market with innovative electric-drive centrifugal compression solution
Siemens was recently awarded a contract to provide three residue compression trains for two, 250 million (500 million total) standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) cryogenic gas plants in the Delaware Basin. The customer, a key producer in the region and long-term user of reciprocating compression equipment, recognized the benefits of centrifugal compression and looked to Siemens for a fully integrated, turnkey solution that includes compressors, motors, variable frequency drives, and associated process equipment.
ProSep, a technology and service provider for integrated process solutions to the global energy industry, has successfully secured a contract with Aker Solutions to provide two MAX+ ProSalt mixers to Equinor's Heimdal Gas Centre Platform in the North Sea.
Wellbore Integrity Solutions (WIS), an affiliate of private equity firm Rhône Capital, and Schlumberger jointly announced that they have entered into an agreement for WIS to acquire the businesses and associated assets of DRILCO, Thomas Tools, and Fishing & Remedial services, along with part of a manufacturing facility located on Rankin Road in Houston, Texas. The transaction is valued at approximately $400 million and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect to close the transaction by year-end 2019.
ITT Inc.'s BIW Connector Systems brand will showcase its enhanced electrical wellhead penetrator solutions for the upstream oil and gas market at the Society of Petroleum Engineers Gulf Coast Section's ESP Symposium May 13-17, 2019 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center near Houston, Texas.
Quartzdyne, Inc., a producer of pressure transducers for the oil and gas industry, introduced its Gen2 Quartz and Piezo Memory Tools at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
Wild Well Control, a Superior Energy Services company and global leader in well control, engineering and training services, has launched a new online well control e-learning course, Introduction to Drilling Operations.
Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for April 2019 was 1,062, up 23 from the 1,039 counted in March 2019, and up 84 from the 978 counted in April 2018. The international offshore rig count for April 2019 was 251, up 4 from the 247 counted in March 2019, and up 57 from the 194 counted in April 2018.
From 2016 to 2018, capital investment in Canada's upstream oil and gas industry (essentially, exploration and production) increased 15 percent compared to 41 percent in the U.S. over the same period, finds a new study released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
Schlumberger introduced the IriSphere look-ahead-while-drilling service at the Offshore Technology Conference. The new service provides the industry's first application of electromagnetic (EM) technology for detecting formation features ahead of the drill bit in oil and gas wells.
At OTC 2019, Weir Oil & Gas introduced its new SPM EXL Frac Pump - engineered from the ground up to be the most durable, longest-lasting 2500 horsepower pump on the market, the company states. With the highest rod load rating in its class at 238,000 pounds, this pump is designed to withstand today's harshest fracking conditions and ease maintenance for operators' field teams.
The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved two applications to abandon the NEB-regulated parts of Exxon Mobil's Sable Offshore Energy Project and Encana Corporation's Deep Panuke Project. These projects, both located offshore Nova Scotia, had reached a stage of naturally declining production. The Sable Offshore Energy Project stopped producing natural gas in December, 2018 and Deep Panuke ceased production in May, 2018.
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), in its Midyear Update to the 2019 Canadian Oilfield Services Activity Forecast, lowered for a second time its Forecast for the number of wells drilled (rig released) in 2019 across Canada to 5,300 wells - a drop of 1,300 or twenty per cent (20%) from the original Forecast of 6,600 in November 2018. PSAC has based its updated Forecast on an average natural gas price of C$1.65/mcf (AECO), crude oil price of US$57.00/barrel (WTI), and a U.S.-Canada exchange rate averaging $0.75.
Leucrotta Exploration Inc. is pleased to announce the following update: Leucrotta drilled and completed an Upper Montney horizontal multi-frac well at 8-22-81-14W6 ("8-22") in the Mica area of north east British Columbia. The well was considered a major step-out given it was approximately 7.5 miles from the closest producing horizontal Upper Montney well. This well confirms that a large portion of our land base that has previously been delineated as highly productive in the Lower Montney is also highly productive in the Upper Montney, effectively significantly increasing the size of the potential development of the resource.
The cost of building
and operating oil sands projects has fallen dramatically in recent years and
total oil production is expected to rise by another 1 million barrels per day
(mbd) by 2030. But external factors—such as price uncertainty caused by
pipeline constraints—are contributing to a more moderate pace of production
growth than in years past, a new report by business information provider
Cenovus Energy Inc. delivered strong operating and financial performance in the first quarter of 2019, generating more than $1 billion of adjusted funds flow, $731 million of free funds flow and cash from operating activities of $436 million. The company's excellent financial results were driven by strong operating performance, a significant narrowing of light-heavy oil price differentials in early 2019 and Cenovus's low-cost structure and continued commitment to capital discipline.