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Problem:

Pipe

A major oil producer in Algeria had challenges with optimizing the efficiency and operation cost of their water injection process due to unreliable and inaccurate measurement of the existing turbine meters. That was due to:

  • Poor performance in dirty streams or with corrosive materials (salt content).
  • Subject to fouling by foreign materials -fibers, tars etc.
  • Bearings subject to wear or damage.
  • Shift in calibration when bearings replaced
  • Can be damaged by over speeding (over 150 percent) or by hydraulic shock.
  • Pressure loss

Consequently the total injected water quantity was not measured accurately leading to production loss. Several unplanned outages were required to maintain the turbine meters.

Solution:

Pipe

GE’s Digital Solutions field service engineer in Algeria, Allaoua Felfoul, proposed to use GE’s portable PT878 ultrasonic flow meter to diagnose the problems and identify the turbine meters with performance weaknesses.

The GE meters were also used to isolate the process issues and to accurately and reliably measure the injection rates.

Portable PT878 ultrasonic flow meter used do a survey on various water injection high pressure lines from 6” to 20” through produced water processing from separation to injection.

Benefits:

Meter
  • Low-cost to retro-fit on existing facility
  • No shutdown required for installation
  • No drift expected on measured value over time
  • No intrusive parts to foul nor apertures/ports to block
  • Zero pressure drop created
  • Diagnostics indicate condition of meter and process
  • Can be used for pump protection e.g. re-injection skid

 

Results:

Pipe

PT878 measures proved successful for all measuring points , the survey helped the operation to define the current injection rates, the turbine meters which were out of spec and needed to be maintained and recalibrated. The capability of PT878 to measure at low flow helped to detect leaky valves and troubleshoot other costly problems on other equipment at early stage.

A calculation was done to determine the actual savings in capital cost-out of using permanent ultrasonic flow meters versus maintaining faulty turbine meters. The result showed a 30% savings in capital cost-out. The capital cost calculated was based on the following equation:

(Well shutdown cost + new meters or spare parts cost +Labor cost) x Number of Days Shutdown.

Another calculation was done to determine the actual saving in operational cost of Ultrasonic Versus Turbine indicate 80% to 90% saving in operation cost versus turbine. The operation cost calculated based on the following equation:

(Well shutdown cost + spare parts cost +Labor cost) x Number of Days.
The customer decided to purchase GE’s PT878 meters with all necessary accessories and plans to replace turbine meters with permanent clamp

Another calculation was done to determine the actual saving in operational cost of Ultrasonic Versus Turbine indicate 80% to 90% saving in operation cost versus turbine. The operation cost calculated based on the following equation:

(Well shutdown cost + spare parts cost +Labor cost) x Number of Days.

The customer decided to purchase GE’s PT878 meters with all necessary accessories and plans to replace turbine meters with permanent clamp on Ultrasonic meters (XMT868I) gradually using the saving calculations mentioned above to get the budget approved.

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