Going with the flow

April 1, 2012

A third-generation subsea multiphase flowmeter and a second-generation subsea wet gas meter are among the new products expected to emerge next from the Roxar Flow Measurement team in Bergen, now officially dubbed parent group Emerson's Multiphase Centre of Excellence.

Both new products have been developed in response to today's growing market requirement for HP/HT and salinity measurement capability, and Roxar is looking to have them fully qualified by the end of the year.

The compact MPFM 2600X, subject of a JIP involving Statoil, Total, BP, Shell and ConocoPhillips, will be about half the height of current units and substantially lighter. 'We are aiming to establish it as the most reliable and best performing multiphase meter in the world,' says Roxar managing director Bret Shanahan. With its extended operating range and significantly improved accuracy, the new wet gas meter will, he adds, compliment the MPFM 2600X in handling the more demanding high temperature requirements, particularly in Asia's big gas fields, as well as addressing changing conditions in the field.

Recent offerings from Roxar include a robust, remotely operated chemical injection valve with high flow measurement (up to 450l/min) capability and a wireless downhole pressure/ temperature sensor specifically targeting Annulus B measurement.

Following shallow water trials with Statoil, Roxar launched a pilot this February for its innovative ROV retrieval system for changing out intrusive sensors individually subsea. The system, developed in collaboration with BP, Chevron, Shell, Total and Statoil, is already being specified into upcoming subsea projects, says Shanahan. ‘There are backups of course, but with today's increased focus on safety and integrity there's a desire to be able to replace these intrusive sensors – plugged into various places, whether it be a subsea manifold or xmas tree – online without having to shut things down,' he explains. ‘This ROV system allows you to climb on and remove and replace the sensor electronics. It's the only way operators can actually replace an intrusive sensor without having to pull up significant steel off the bottom of the ocean.' 

Hydraulic stab plates

Heavy and light duty hydraulic stab plates – designated Odin and Thor respectively – have been developed for both subsea and topside application by Fjell Subsea Products (FSP), a newly established division of Fjell Industries based in Straume-Sotra, 15km west of Bergen. Odin was designed to withstand high loads and is equipped with an innovative, easy to reset secondary release mechanism. Compact and lightweight, Thor was designed as an easy to handle subsea or topside plate covering a full range of hydraulic connection requirements. Both are available in standard sizes accommodating either 12, 18 or 22 hydraulic couplers.

FSP has also developed the ROV deployable Freya injection/gas lift connector in a range of sizes from 1in to 6in and said to offer market-leading performance in terms of ROV interface, pressure ratings, size and weight.

PI information software

Software supplier Amitec will provide the PI information system – an OSIsoft infrastructure for managing real time information and events – for Eni Norge's Marulk and Goliat fields. The company will provide a 30,000 tags PI server with interfaces and clients, as well as consultant services, training, support, development and integration with related software from the Eni Norge product ranges. The duration of this contract is three years.

Amitec CTO Børre Heggernes says this three-year contract, with an optional 1+1 year extension, consolidates the company's position as the Norwegian oil & gas industry's leading IMS provider. ‘To my knowledge this is the northernmost PI in Scandinavia,' he adds. Production from Marulk, which is connected to Statoil's Norne FPSO, starts this year and from the Goliat oil field in 4Q next year.

Cable diagnostics

Norwegian firm Wirescan recently received a US patent for its innovative LIRA (Line Resonance Analysis) cable diagnostic system, developed to provide superior risk management and cost control during subsea cable manufacturing, installation and operation. The system can be used on all electrical cables ranging from 30m to over 300km.

LIRA applies a low voltage, nondestructive RF signal to the cable, and detects all impedance changes in the cable insulation. In addition to known splices, it will detect impedance changes due to water intrusion, bends, scratched, mechanical impacts, etc. ‘This is valuable information to determine if the cable needs repair or replacement, and a planned maintenance programme can be put in place, to save costs compared to ad-hoc repair due to unexpected cable breakdown,' says Wirescan sales vice president Vidar Bergli.

According to Bergli, LIRA encompasses the lifetime of the cable, providing an additional QA/QC system during manufacture, continuous monitoring during installation and immediate feedback on failures and damage so the cable can be repaired on the installation vessel. It can also be used for trend analysis with repeated measurements over time, and to accurately locate failures in the cable down to 0.3% of the cable length. 


New owners for Argus
Bergen-based Pro Analysis is under new ownership following Statoil's decision to part company with the specialist oil-inwater monitoring team it has nurtured for eight years.

In late January Statoil Venture and other shareholders in the company agreed to sell all its shares to Norwegian holding and development group Holta & Håland Industrier, which also has interests in fire & gas detection and fiscal oil & gas measurement.

Retiring Pro Analysis chairman and Statoil representative Ståle Myhre commented at the time that the company had ‘built a foundation from which it will develop further and remain a valued supplier of a quality product essential to Statoil and other oil companies in years to come'.

The ‘product' in this case is the latest version of an instrument Pro Analysis' developed ten years ago for continuous monitoring of oil levels in produced water from oil and gas production. A prototype of the technology was first tested by Norsk Hydro in 2003, before Statoil's venture subsidiary opted to invest in its developer a year later. The instrument started to be deployed for produced water management in the North Sea in 2005. Following further development, the current Argus inline oil-in-water technology was launched in 2008 and went on to achieve an 80% market share in Norway as well as securing sales worldwide. Some 70% of Pro Analysis' turnover last year was generated outside the Norwegian home market.

‘The business is really starting to pick up and we now have a lot of references from majors,' says Pro Analysis marketing manager Kenneth Macdonald Karlsen. ‘All previous applications have been for topsides and onshore,' he explains, ‘but we see a need for measurements subsea as the market develops.' Holta & Håland managing director Åge Nilsen says he can see ‘great potential in Argus' and expects the technology to be ‘at the forefront internationally within a few years'. 


AHC FOR ALL: Bergen-based Scantrol says its active heave compensation (AHC) system can be adapted to many existing winches, hydraulic or electric, as they often have the speed and torque characteristics suitable for AHC. The company has designed an AHC toolbox that makes it possible to determine AHC performance with an existing winch. The AHC Analyzer can predict AHC performance with different loads and varying vessel motion. ‘In many winch applications only a fraction of the winch design load is used during normal operation, and the spare torque can be used for AHC,' says Scantrol. The screen shot from the AHC operator's monitor shows the vessel motion and the corresponding load motion with and without AHC. Among Scantrol's latest references is the Seabed Worker, which has AHC deployed for both winch and crane, LARS-system. 


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