By Nicholas Voss, V-Cone® Product Manager, McCrometer, Inc.
With depths as deep as 10,000ft (3,000m) flow measurement in subsea oil and gas production systems represents a challenge for flow measurement. The complexity of subsea production systems ranges from single satellite wells with independent tie back lines to complex multiple well sites with a network of lines, manifolds and other modules. Often times multiple production lines feed a single vertical riser leading to the surface and eventually extend to a fixed platform, floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), or a pipeline running to a land-based operation. At the same time, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques push gas and liquid back to the ocean floor and deeper to more well sites and tie backs.
Flow measurement is required in all phases of these operations, especially at well heads and where lines merge or diverge. Flow meters allocate production liquids, gases and gas condensates to specific wells, monitor critical processes and directly measure enhanced oil recovery techniques such as water injection, chemical injection such as MEG (methyl ethyl glycol), and dry gas for injection and gas lift. New technology is making subsea compression a reality as well, adding the need for subsea compressor control and anti-surge systems. Subsea oil and gas production requires the vanguard of reliable precision equipment and instrumentation.