Litre Meter Press Release

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Litre Meter has shipped 51 of its popular VFF flowmeters via a distributor in Houston for use in a chemical injection skid in the Gulf of Mexico.

The meters are for use on the latest phase of development of the Tahiti field in the Gulf of Mexico operated by Chevron. One of the largest finds in the Gulf of Mexico, located 190 miles off New Orleans, the deepest producing well is at more than 26,000 feet with production from two subsea drill centres tied back to a floating production facility.

Tahiti Topsides is Chevron’s largest single structure in the Gulf of Mexico in terms of operating weight and Tahiti Spar is the largest single-piece truss spar, held in place by 13 mooring lines. This is the first time Chevron has used polyester rope for a permanently moored floating facility.

The challenge for Litre Meter was to supply robust flowmeters that can measure harsh fluids accurately at various flow rates and viscosities at extremes of pressure and temperature in a tough subsea environment.

The order consisted of 28 of LF05 and six LF15 VFF meters calibrated for ultra-low flows and designed to measure chemical inhibitors. Each meter is pressure rated to 1,035 bar and fitted with 3/8-inch autoclave engineers medium (AEM) pressure fittings. Also included were three HF20 VFF meters and 14 VFF8 flowmeters.

All the meters are constructed of F53 Duplex stainless steel with titanium rotors. The low flow capability of the meters has been improved by coating the pressure balance chambers and titanium rotors with physical vapour deposition (PVD) designed to lower friction. The additional hardness provided by the PVD coating also improves wear resistance.

Also provided were Litre Meter’s state-of-the-art direct space-saving FlowPod instruments. These provide local display indication in an enclosure that is only 85mm in diameter and back lit with large rate and totalizer digits providing local display of flow rate and total flow. They have HART 7 protocols on a two-wire system mounted in an ATEX Exd stainless steel housing.

The meters play a vital role in keeping production flowing. For example, under conditions of changing pressure and temperature paraffin can build up as a waxy deposit on equipment – mostly in tubing close to the surface – and can, in severe cases, halt production. Scales such as calcium carbonate and iron oxides can also build up. Mineral salt deposits which accumulate in wellbore components due to the effects of pressure and temperature on the saturation of produced water can also cause severe blockages.

Corrosion and the loss of metal can occur anywhere in the production system from the bottom hole to surface lines and equipment. Chemicals are injected into the system to prevent these problems – and the Litre Meter flowmeters are used to precisely measure the amount of chemical being added.

Litre Meter CEO Charles Wemyss said: “Subsea repairs and the associated loss of production are high cost, so protecting deepwater well bores from hydrate formation, plugging and organic fouling is a major flow assurance concern in offshore operations.

“Hydrate, scale and corrosion prevention strategies provide protection during normal operation, start-up and shutdown.

“Litre Meter’s VFF flowmeter is ideally suited for use in the oil and gas industry and in particular for low flow / high pressure applications.

“Years of experience in chemical injection applications onshore and offshore have confirmed the instrument’s capability to reliably measure fluids under extreme conditions of both temperature and pressure.”