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Litre Meter Supplies Chemical Injection Flowmeters for Brazil FPSO

Litre Meter Supplies Chemical Injection Flowmeters for Brazil FPSO

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09 April 2015

UK flowmeter specialist Litre Meter has supplied Single Buoy Moorings (SBM) with 11 customised LF05 VFF low-flow flowmeters which SBM will be using in chemical injection on a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The vessel is contracted to Petrobras for use on the Baleia Azul field (located off the coast of Brazil in the Campos Basin).

Designed to measure the flow of scale inhibitor, each meter has been calibrated for low flow at 20l/h, with a viscosity of 27 centipoise. Each meter is pressure rated to 414 bar and fitted with 1/2-inch US standard national pipe thread taper (NPT) threaded connections.

The flowmeters are constructed of 316 stainless steel with titanium rotors and Litre Meter has significantly enhanced their low flow capability by coating the pressure balance chambers and titanium rotors with physical vapour deposition (PVD). As well as lowering the meters' friction properties and extending their ability to measure low flows, this PVD coating also provides additional hardness, which results in improved wear resistance.

Each LF05 meter has been supplied with separate, panel-mounted displays, which show flow rate and total with HART or Fieldbus protocols on a three-wire system, mounted in an ATEX Exd stainless steel housing.

One of the reasons these flowmeters are so important for this chemical injection project is the major flow assurance problem of ‘scale'.

Scale occurs when inorganic salts - such as calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate or iron oxide - form during oil and gas production. Scale forms and deposits under supersaturated conditions, in any place where the mixing of formation water from the bottom hole and injected seawater, takes place. The deposited scale sticks to surfaces of the producing well tubing, and on parts of water handling equipment, where it builds up over time. Eventually, it can cause problems in reservoirs, pumps, valves and topside facilities.

Scale is also a major issue in heat transfer equipment, such as boilers and heat exchangers. It affects performance during the heat exchange and lowers flow rates. If the mineral deposits increase rapidly, equipment parts will become inevitably damaged, leading to suspended oil operations while damaged parts are repaired or replaced. Such interruptions to operations carry huge costs.

Fortunately, problems such as corrosion and metal loss within production systems can be prevented by injecting chemicals - and the Litre Meter LF05 flowmeters provide the precise flow measurement needed to ensure the correct quantity of chemicals is injected, which drastically reduces waste and the cost of removal.

Charles Wemyss - Litre Meter's CEO - says: "Subsea repairs and the associated loss of production are high cost, so protecting deepwater well bores from hydrate formation, plugging and organic fouling is a major flow assurance concern in offshore operations.

"Scale and corrosion prevention strategies provide protection during normal operation, start-up and shutdown.
"Litre Meter's VFF flowmeter is ideally suited for use in the oil and gas industry and in particular for low flow / high pressure applications.

"Years of experience in chemical injection applications onshore and offshore have confirmed the instrument's capability to reliably measure fluids under extreme conditions of both temperature and pressure."