World's deepest multiphase meter installation achieved on Albacora

Since 1996, Fluenta has been involved in a technological cooperation program with Petrobras to adapt its subsea multiphase metering technology to the oil company's requirements. In July, a subsea multiphase meter was installed on the operator's Albacora Field in a water depth of 425 meters - the deepest application yet made in the world, to the knowledge of Fluenta's sales and marketing manager, Kenneth Olsvik. First oil through the production facility is expected in September.

Since 1996, Fluenta has been involved in a technological cooperation program with Petrobras to adapt its subsea multiphase metering technology to the oil company's requirements.

In July, a subsea multiphase meter was installed on the operator's Albacora Field in a water depth of 425 meters - the deepest application yet made in the world, to the knowledge of Fluenta's sales and marketing manager, Kenneth Olsvik. First oil through the production facility is expected in September.

The meter - Fluenta's SMFM 1000 - is housed in a module installed on the MSP-DL3 manifold. The meter is vertically retrievable and re-installable using a guidelineless cable. In this configuration it is known as the MMS 1200. The meter was first tested at the Atalaia test site, where Petrobras has facilities for testing macro-components for deep-water production systems.

The cooperation between Fluenta and Petrobras is in the form of a joint industry project which also involves a number of other oil companies. Under the same project Petrobras is now testing a Fluenta topside multiphase meter at the Atalaia facility. It has also purchased two more topside units for offshore use.

The Fluenta meter is a non-intrusive device which consists of a dual capacitance sensor set, a gamma ray densitometer, a Venturi meter, an inductive sensor, and pressure and temperature sensors. It does not require a mixer, but a tee-bend in the pipeline is required upstream to provide some homogenisation.

Fluenta now has 26 multiphase meters in operation worldwide. Among them is one at Amerada Hess's South Scott Field in the UK sector, the first ever to be installed subsea, in 1995. Before coming into operation, this meter had to be retrieved for the repair of a broken component.

At the same time, it also became evident that the ceramic liner used in the capacitance sensor was malfunctioning. "A water film was forming on the liner and causing short-circuiting," says Olsvik. "We've now replaced the ceramic with PEEK, a water repellent thermoplastic. At the same time we improved the sensor construction in a way that provides better accuracy and higher sensitivity." Independent tests at the National Engineering Laboratory in Scotland indicate an overall improvement in the performance of the new generation meter.

The company's cooperation agreement with Petrobras also includes the testing of a water-in-oil monitor and an oil-in-water monitor. It has also supplied to the Brazilian company a number of its acoustic strap-on pig detectors.

Fluenta has also broken into the Mexican onshore market with its multiphase meters. Here, in collaboration with FMC and Kongsberg Offshore, four meters have been mounted on trucks which move from field to field providing a mobile metering service.

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