Non-intrusive flow meter

Flow Q&A

My client wants to meter his gross production in a heavy oil field (API 13). He started with a vortex meter, but the rubbers from the sucker rod pumps keep coming down the line and plugging it up. We'll mount these meters remotely. Aside from a Liquid Ultrasonic or Cidra Sonartrac, what other options do we have?

Expert’s answer: Non-intrusive flow meter

Need a non-intrusive flow meter? Sounds like you’re almost there. The ultrasonic could work if the application offers the inlet and outlet run that kind of flow meter needs.

The vortex will create more resistance in your process than an ultrasonic, but the pressure drop shouldn’t matter as much as it might for a Coriolis, for example. You’ll need to evaluate the situation, but your client’s problem could stem from the process connection. For instance, if it has a wafer connection, you could have issues with the bolts.

CIDRA flow meter – Courtesy of CIDRA

Before you change the flow meter, check the installation first. Also, keep in mind the maintenance. You need constant monitoring to avoid problems with unscheduled downtimes. For remote stations, you can monitor the system using wireless communication. Even across long distances wireless will keep you connected, because you can combine the wireless with a radio signal to deliver the process data as far as you need.

Ultrasonic flow meters on the market:

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