Pipeline Meter Skids Newsletter

(July, 2023)

Welcome to our monthly newsletter. This month, we will discuss what pipeline meter skids are, their applications, the products commonly metered on pipelines, and the essential components that make up a pipeline meter skid, including the use of flow computers and meter provers.


Dual Run Crude Oil Pipeline Meter Skid

1. What are Pipeline Meter Skids?

Pipeline meter skids are crucial measurement systems used in the oil and gas industry to accurately gauge the flow rate and quantity of products transported through pipelines. These skids are installed at various points along the pipeline to monitor and control the movement of liquids or gases.

2. Applications of Pipeline Meter Skids

Pipeline meter skids are used in a wide range of industries such as:

a) Oil and Gas Transportation: In the oil and gas sector, meter skids are deployed to measure the flow of crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, and other hydrocarbons throughout the pipeline network.

b) Chemical Processing: Meter skids are utilized in chemical plants to measure the flow of various chemicals and ensure accurate dosing in production processes.

3. Products Commonly Metered on a Pipeline

The products metered on a pipeline depend on the industry and the specific application. Some of the common products metered include:

a) Crude Oil: Measuring crude oil flow is critical for production and transportation operations.

b) Natural Gas: Monitoring natural gas flow ensures smooth delivery to consumers and industrial users.

c) Refined Petroleum Products: Products like gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and others are metered in refined form before distribution.

d) Chemicals: Various chemicals used in manufacturing processes are metered to ensure precise proportions.

4. Components of Pipeline Meter Skids

Pipeline meter skids consist of several essential components working together to ensure accurate flow measurement. Some of these components include:

a) Flow Meters: These devices come in various types such as orifice meters, ultrasonic flow meters, turbine flow meters, and coriolis flow meters, providing accurate measurements based on the principle of flow dynamics.

b) Flow Computers: Flow computers are electronic devices that receive inputs from the flow meters and other sensors. They calculate flow rates, totalized quantities, and compensate for factors like temperature and pressure to provide accurate readings.

c) Pressure and Temperature Sensors: These sensors monitor the pressure and temperature of the flowing product, which is crucial for accurate flow calculations.

d) Control Valves: Control valves help regulate the flow rate, ensuring that it matches the desired setpoints for optimal performance and safety.

e) Data Communication and Visualization: Modern meter skids are equipped with data communication systems that transmit real-time flow data to a central control room. Visualization software helps operators monitor and analyze the data effectively.

f) Sampler Systems: Sampler systems are used to collect representative samples of products like crude oil from the pipeline feeding into a meter skid. Sampler systems include a mixer, sampling pot, and return pump The samples are then analyzed in laboratories to assess the quality, composition, and properties of the product.

5. Meter provers

These devices are used to calibrate and verify the accuracy of flow meters on pipeline meter skids. They play a critical role in ensuring that the flow measurements obtained from the flow meters are accurate and reliable. Here’s how meter provers are used on pipeline meter skids:

Flow MD Small Volume Prover

Flow MD Small Volume Prover

a) Calibration and Verification: Meter provers are used to calibrate and verify the accuracy of flow meters installed on the pipeline meter skids. The process involves comparing the flow measurements obtained from the flow meters against the known volume of fluid passed through the prover. By comparing the two values, any discrepancies or inaccuracies in the flow meter readings can be identified and corrected.

b) Flow Meter Testing: Meter provers provide a controlled and stable environment to test the flow meters under different flow rates and conditions. This testing helps assess the accuracy and performance of the flow meters across their operational range. It is especially important to ensure that flow meters are precise at both low and high flow rates.

6. Various Types of Meter Provers

There are different types of meter provers used on pipeline meter skids, each with its specific applications:

a) Prover Loops: Prover loops are a common type of meter prover used in pipeline metering. They consist of a known volume of liquid or gas circulated within a closed loop. The flow meter on the meter skid measures the flow within this loop, and the known volume is used for calibration.

b) Small Volume Provers: These provers are used for calibrating small flow meters or meters with limited flow rates. They usually have a small displacement chamber with a precisely measured volume.

c) Bi-directional Provers: Some meter provers are capable of flowing fluid in both directions, allowing bidirectional flow meter calibration. This is particularly useful for pipeline systems where the flow direction may change periodically.

d) Master Meter Provers: In some cases, a highly accurate master meter is used as a reference to calibrate other flow meters. The master meter is independently calibrated and provides extremely precise measurements.

7. Regular Prover Runs

Meter provers require periodic runs to verify the accuracy of flow meters. These prover runs should be conducted at regular intervals or whenever there is a suspicion of meter drift or inaccuracies. Prover runs are documented and compared with previous runs to detect any changes in the flow meter’s performance.

Conclusion: Pipeline meter skids are indispensable in various industries, ensuring efficient and accurate measurement of product flow in pipelines. With advanced technology and precise components like flow computers, these systems contribute significantly to the safe and accurate transportation of fluids and gases.

Need help with your next pipeline meter skid needs, give S&S Technical a call for a complete solution including the meter skid, controls/automation and meter prover.

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