Proving Flow Measurement Accuracy for Hydrocarbon Applications

by | Mar 23, 2009 | Measurement Instrumentation

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

Here’s a story about a portable high-flow petroleum pipeline-proving rig. If you’re in the oil & gas production, refining, or distribution business, I probably don’t need to define what this is.

For the rest of us, a prover:

…is used for rapid, accurate calibration of a wide range of flow measurement technologies. Applications range from load rack, crude and refined product pipelines and marine terminals to offshore. The Compact Prover is used for rapid, accurate calibration of a wide range of flow measurement technologies. Applications range from load rack, crude and refined product pipelines and marine terminals to offshore platforms and FPSOs.

It’s important to prove the accuracy of the flow meters measuring the hydrocarbons to account properly for the revenue it produces. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, this has implications for Sarbanes-Oxley financial compliance in the U.S.

Emerson’s Dave Seiler, part of the Daniel measurement and control group, shared a story of a recently completed project. The team provided a Daniel compact prover to C&W Meter, a company that provides proving services to truck loading, pipeline, and custody transfer meters for major oil companies all through the North Eastern US.

Dave described the project as a portable 42-foot long custom trailer on which C&W Meter mounted a large 40 kW generator on the top shelf and at the back mounted some 12″ hydraulically operated loading arms that allows them to connect to large, high-flow pipelines. C&W meter uses this 34″ Daniel portable prover for large size meters on a pipeline. They believe this application to be the largest portable prover in North America.

The C&W meter website describes this prover application:

Currently in operation is our portable High Flow petroleum pipe line proving rig complete with Daniel 34″ Small Volume Prover and 12″ Master Turbine Meter. The trailer mounted proving system has a maximum flow rate of 18,000 Bph/12,600 Gpm of refined petroleum products – gasoline and distillates. The Master Turbine Meter is used for proving Ultrasonic Flow Meters that require a long sample time to achieve the required data uncertainty. The High Flow proving rig has 12″ loading arms with a pressure rating of ANSI class 300# – 720 psig max working pressure. The loading arms are hydraulically actuated for fast, easy connection to the pipe line. The proving rig is fully powered by an onboard diesel generator.

Now I realize all this might be tough to visualize if you’re not already familiar with provers, so C&W Meter’s Mike Scott was kind enough to send me some pictures of the prover in action. I want to first warn those of you with social media-blocking IT departments, that I’ve uploaded the pictures to Flickr in order to embed this slideshow.

Hopefully, as more process automation bloggers and trade magazines use sites such as Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, etc. these IT walls will come down!

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.