The Shortcomings and Challenges of Metering System Automation in the Petroleum Industry
- Obike Ume Jones Ogwo (Dept. of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- February 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 41 - 45
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 4.3 Flow Assurance, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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Since about 1990, the automation of flowmetering systems has been gaining momentum. During this time, operations have been simplified by flow-system automation, but the petroleum industry has been exposed to significant fiscal losses arising from "teething problems.?? This paper reviews the problems that are yet to be addressed by the automation industry, based on field experience over an extended period of time. The fiscal significance of these shortcomings is presented, and measures are suggested to correct the problems. It is expected that this work will prompt the automation industry to address the existing limitations of metering systems when designing future flow computers.
Automation of flowmetering systems is necessary in order to operate flow valves remotely, track changes in operating flow conditions, minimize measurement errors arising from human intervention, and increase fiscal measurement and computational accuracy. For these reasons, the petroleum industry wants to automate metering systems and has undertaken to do so. However, constraints exist that prevent the complete achievement of this goal at the present time. Unfortunately, the ease with which automated systems carry out operations frequently prevents the users of automated flow computers from noticing these deficiencies, which current systems cannot overcome.
Over the last 15 years, metering-system automation and the use of automated fiscal systems in the Nigerian petroleum industry have been closely observed. Field experience has identified certain shortcomings in existing flow computers, which are capable of causing significant loss of credit to the facility users. These shortcomings have their origins in certain fundamental problems in the automation industry. It is assumed here that the shortcomings of the metering systems in Nigeria can reasonably be assumed to represent a situation that exists in the global industry, because the same companies that operate in Nigeria also operate elsewhere in the world.
In this discussion, possible short-term solutions to these shortcomings are proposed. The long-term solution of these problems is the major challenge facing metering-system automation in the petroleum industry.
|File Size||532 KB||Number of Pages||5|
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