A new three phase flowmeter

A fascinating technology development now released by Krohne is a new approach to oil, gas and water multi-phase flow measurement. Actually launched last November, maybe because everyone said “What?” the Krohne Academy guys have now come up with an on-line e-learning course – to introduce their M-Phase 5000 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance flowmeter. The name refers to the technology, not to anything remotely nasty like nuclear sources, X-rays or radioactive isotopes – there is nothing like that. In fact there is nothing untoward in the flow tube at all, it is a straight tube with an unobstructed bore, available in sizes from 4 inches down to 2 inches, with an operating turndown of 60:1.

Krohne M5000 2

I first met Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) when fresh out of University, but had not heard of it even then: it was used to make a Magnetometer, to measure the Earth’s magnetic field. Basically you wrap a coil round a bottle of water, to create a strong magnetic field, which lines up all the spins of the hydrogen atoms (the protons). The coil current is then interrupted, and as the protons try to realign themselves with the Earth’s ambient magnetic field, they precess round the direction of this field at a frequency determined by the strength of the field. The weak rotating AC magnetic field from this precession can be measured by a detector coil.

How it works

The NMR principle was discovered in the early 1900s, and as the Krohne introduction says, two Nobel prizes were awarded for research into the topic in 2003, in relation to the soft tissue medical imaging techniques used in MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners. Krohne have worked on developing the technique for three phase flow measurement for 10 years, in co-operation with Shell Research and NAM of Rotterdam, a joint Shell/Exxon company. For the last four years this has involved field trials of the first versions, both in labs and in test installations.



The final flowmeter can be seen on tinyurl.com/Ptalk-NMR, a 90 second video from Krohne. Horizontally mounted, the meter is about 12 feet long, and contains a glass-reinforced epoxy flow tube within a stainless housing. The first section has three separate magnetising zones, which can be driven separately, and this has the only moving part of the whole meter, a motor to arrange the different modes (this is outside the flow tube). Then the next section is the area where RF pulses are applied to the 3-phase fluid, which can be across the whole pipe or can interrogate horizontal layers across the pipe. This section also has the detectors, which measure the magnetic field transmitted by the protons at the ‘Larmor’ precession frequency, and the amplitude and decay of these signals following various different imposed magnetic field patterns. These different measurements (frequency, amplitude and decay rate) enable the computation of the flow of each of the three phases. Any sand or gravel flow is recorded as gas. At the exit of the flowmeter a separate tapping allows pressure and temperature to be monitored, which is the further data normally required in well test and production allocation applications.

The technique has been previously described in detail at the North Sea Flow Measurement Workshops, for example in 2013.

Operating parameters

The meter uses around 180 Watts of power, but is approved for installation in Zone 1 areas, with all the electronics and power/data connections in flameproof boxes. The fluid temperature can be up to 93°C, and the pressure should be 8 bar minimum for gas measurement duty, 224 bar max. There are no special installation pipe bend restrictions. The flow range is typically 2.5 to 150 m³/hr, and measurement accuracy 3-5% of measured value, after the meter has been set up on site to establish the characteristics of the oil being monitored, using a full pipe static test. The at-line conditions data output can be fed to a flow computer to give totalisation of all three phases, and PVT conversion to refer volumes back to standard conditions.

The Krohne M-Phase 5000 is launched and available for production well metering now, and the Krohne Academy training course is even giving out certificates to confirm you understand the meter operation, once you have done the e-learning training course! Find it on www.academy-online.krohne.com – I passed the test, and have a certificate!

© Nick Denbow, Processingtalk.info


Aveva 3D adopted by Statoil: Schneider and Aveva stop merger/acquisition talks.

The news that Statoil has signed a multi-year agreement with Aveva to use Aveva 3D as its strategic 3D design software platform, as an upgrade to its existing Aveva PDMS design system, reminds us that there has been an on-going discussion about a deal between Schneider Software, through many of its acquired Invensys businesses, and Aveva. This possible deal was announced last June, and featured in the INSIDER Newsletter in July last year. It involves the bringing together of these software businesses into an enlarged Aveva Group, which would be effectively majority owned by Schneider.

Seamless integration of Laser scan data in the AVEVA Everything3D BubbleView

Seamless integration of Laser scan data in the AVEVA Everything3D BubbleView

Statoil is currently quoted to be using Aveva software on 52 Brownfield and 7 Greenfield models, plus the new Johan Sverdrup field development project that today consists of 7 models. Older plants such as the Snøhvit LNG Plant in the Barents Sea, the refineries at Mongstad in Norway and Kalundborg in Denmark, and the gas treatment facility at Kårstø have been converted to Aveva PDMS. So the opportunity for deeper involvement by a partner of Aveva, like Schneider, in all these major refurbishments and new projects, gives a wide opening for an expanded role in the design and automation of these projects.

This was reflected in the statement that Statoil’s new strategy (to standardise on Aveva E3D) offers the potential for significant project efficiencies in the design, operation and revamp of all Statoil facilities in the future. Executive Vice President for Sales in AVEVA, Helmut Schuller, said that “Statoil has selected Aveva E3D as its 3D solution of choice for both its greenfield and brownfield complex plant design projects”, and that Aveva 3D offers “[A] multitude of benefits without the normal risks associated with new projects and long-term operations”.

Aveva 3D offers simple migration from Aveva PDMS, and Statoil has been a strategic user of Aveva PDMS and Aveva Global for more than 15 years. They acknowledge the value this software has brought when executing field development, maintenance and modification projects as well as during the operation and revamp of its portfolio of facilities.

Those acquisition discussions – November

In November 2015, Aveva provided an update on the Schneider Software acquisition discussions, that were undergoing due diligence studies.

The combined company was seen by Aveva in their November update as potentially one of the world’s leading industrial software companies, with an unmatched breadth of product offering covering all aspects of the digital asset including process simulation and optimization, detailed engineering design, operations and asset lifecycle management and supervisory control. One key benefit for Aveva would be a better, bigger presence in North America, and a significant presence amongst owner operator customers. They then went on to report on the Schneider Software H1 figures for 2015, which was decent of them, if not a little surprising! This perhaps reflected an Aveva belief that they were the acquiring party, picking up some Invensys businesses that Schneider did not want any more?

The quoted Schneider results showed a 7% drop in sales, driven by a -7% FX translation effect. Maintenance revenue increased by a high single digit figure, YOY. EBITA was in line with the previous year on a constant currency basis.

The conclusion – in December

Then a statement came on December 15 that the Schneider – Aveva talks had been unable to reach any agreement on the terms of the transaction. The Aveva statement suggested that “During the due diligence process significant integration challenges were identified that could not be overcome without considerable additional risk and cost. This was exacerbated by the highly complex structure of the proposed transaction.”

Meanwhile the Aveva interim/half year results showed a drop of 5% in revenue compared to 2014, and a drop of 50% in the profit and earnings after adjustments to the basic figures, to account for some amortisation and exceptional items. Without the adjustments, Aveva showed a small loss.

The Aveva Board confirms that Aveva trading has continued in line with the Board’s expectations and the Board’s view on the outlook for the full year remains unchanged. The future strategy and expansion plans might need a little change however….

Last July, the rumours had been that Emerson, GE and Siemens were all measuring Aveva up for a bid, so the business is back in the melting pot: although Schneider obviously has significantly more information than the rest.


(c) Nick Denbow  – Processingtalk.info

Yokogawa expands intoTurkey

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has announced that its subsidiary, Yokogawa Europe BV has acquired 100% of the shares of its distributor in Turkey, Birleşik Endüstriyel Sistemler Ve Tesisler AS (BEST), which is based in Izmir. Yokogawa sees this as a major step forward into the emerging market in Turkey and the associated area. The acquisition of shares was carried out on November 25.

With this acquisition, Yokogawa is strengthening its focus on Turkey as a market with substantial growth potential. It will allow Yokogawa to extend its position in several promising segments, such as the power industry. Through the acquisition, Yokogawa will also enhance its relationships with customers in Turkey.

“BEST has been Yokogawa’s distributor since 1977 and has already built an excellent reputation in the oil and gas industries, where it will continue to provide great value to customers,” comments Yokogawa Europe’s president Herman van den Berg: “Yokogawa is committed to working with customers as partners to help them get maximum value from their plant operations, and this acquisition is a major step forward in our plans to grow our footprint in emerging markets, and specifically in target industries including the power and energy sectors.”