OSLO -- Using open WirelessHART products, Emerson Process Management's Smart Wireless network is automating flow monitoring to increase production on the Gullfaks offshore platforms in the northern part of the Norwegian North Sea.
StatoilHydro was occasionally losing flow from the producing wells at its Gullfaks A, B, and C platforms, caused by a loss of wellhead pressure. The loss of flow was difficult to detect because there were no existing flow-metering devices installed within the well pipes. Installing the devices was not practical as it would require a complete shut down of production, which would cause lost throughput.
Needing to automate the monitoring so as to provide real-time data, while also reducing personnel presence in hazardous areas, StatoilHydro initially implemented a pilot installation on the Gullfaks A, B, and C platforms. Emerson's Rosemount 648 wireless temperature transmitters were installed to indirectly indicate flow on lines at each of forty wells. The wireless devices are used to transmit data from clamp-on temperature sensors mounted on the surface of the flow pipes.
Emerson's wireless devices now transmit readings every 30 seconds back to the Smart Wireless Gateway. The gateway is hardwired straight into the existing control system providing operators with the real time information they need to react quickly to any change in flow.
StatoilHydro has now implemented additional Smart Wireless devices on Platforms A, B and C, bringing the total to 90 wireless transmitters covering all production flowlines at Gullfaks.
"Emerson's wireless transmitters have enabled the quick and reliable detection of lost flow, and the immediate action to re-establish flow has increased production significantly," says Tormod Jenssen, staff Engineer for plant integrity on the Gullfaks field.