The oil industry is faced with an inaccurate gauging challenge. Many companies face losses due to errors. However, tech has allowed the production of high-pressure flow measurement tools.
In this write-up, we will look at the seven types of meters designed for the oil industry. They can work with the high viscosity of the oil. They provide pressure enough to beat the fluid properties. Thus, you will get more accurate readings for your oil gauging.
How Oils and Natural Gases form
Oils and gasses occur naturally from below the earth’s surface. Some geological processes lead to creating these products; The oil and gases occur in crude form. Hence, they need processing to get usable petroleum products.
Oils and gases are found in sedimentary rocks. They live within porous rocks; An oil reservoir occurs on top of hard rock. For a driller to extract the oil, they need to drill through the porous gravel. Since the oil is viscous, they pump water at high pressure to boost oil movement.
The water pumped into the porous rocks is mixed with the sand grains. The high pressure and grains of sand make the porous rock fracture. Thus, the oil flows more freely.
Types of Meters for Oil and Gas Industry
Below are the common types of flow measurement tools you will find in the oil industry.
Coriolis Flow Meters
Coriolis flow sensors were invented in the 1950s. Yet, they got into the oil industry 20 years later. The meters have not undergone great changes since then, but the accuracy has improved. Modern Coriolis flowmeters are reliable and have reduced the losses in the oil industry.
The original design of this meter had one tube. But due to vibration issues, it was changed to dual pipes. The principle of operation has not changed—the tubes twist in the opposite direction of the flowing fluids. The twists directly relate to the flow rate.
Thermal Flow Meters
Thermal mass flowmeters are helpful in gas gauging in oil and gas firms. It’s because it uses the heat in the fluid to gauge the flow rate.
The heat loss depends on the heat levels in the gas. High heat levels help to give accurate readings. But with modern thermal flow measurement tools, you are sure of precise heat readings even amidst low heat levels.
Positive Displacement Flow Meters
These meters work by holding a known capacity of the fluid and releasing it. They are among the most accurate flow metering tools. You can use them in both commercial and industrial oil gauging.
You can use these meters with the turbine flow meter. It boosts the accuracy of the process. They are the best to offer a steady flow rate of pipes with a diameter of fewer than 10 inches.
Turbine Flow Meters
These are mechanical flow meters that you can use with oils and gases. They hate a rotor that moves when a fluid passes within them. Turbine flow measurement tools are the most common types of meters in the market. They are available in various strengths to fit different firms.
Turbine flowmeters give you the volumetric readings of the oil. The speed of rotation depends on the speed of the fluid passing through the blades. Then, the magnet creates a field that helps send the signals to the transmitter.
Turbine flow meters are the cheapest in the market. It may make you fear purchasing them since low prices are linked to low quality. But the quality and accuracy of the meter are reliable.
Vortex Flow Meters
These meters measure all manner of fluids. They are suitable for liquids under high pressure since they move with fluid. The viscosity may hinder the gauging but under high pressure. The oil can create vortices that are the principle of vortex flow measurement tools.
Vortex flow sensors are the newest meters to use in the oil industry. For a long time, people thought they could not use them with viscous fluids. But modern tech allows the meters to work with viscous fluids.
Ultrasonic Flow Meters
These meters work by sending and tracking a sound wave. Thus, the oil needs to have dirt or bubbles. It is, therefore, possible to work in oil mining since crude oil contains some impurities.
You can use an ultrasonic flow sensor to gauge the flow inside and outside the tubes. Ultrasonic flow measurement tools for crude oil are made as inline meters. They are inserted in pipes with a diameter of 20 inches.
Differential Flow Meters
These meters work like ultrasonic flow meters. But it has a slight difference; Differential flow meters utilize Bernoulli’s equation. It also has a constriction that slows down the flow movement for effective readings.
The constriction creates different pressures at different points. The meter works by detecting the pressure difference between the two points. Thus, it makes the meter one of the effective fluid measurement tools for oils.
There are plenty of metering options for oil firms. There are still some types of flow meters that are awaiting API approval. They all offer affordable and accurate fluid measurement tools. The sector has lagged due to the dominance of traditional crude oil extraction. But there’s hope for drastic changes in the future.