Expro Releases Innovative Metering Technology at OTC

International oilfield service company Expro today launches innovative metering technology to mark a step change in the oil and gas industry's approach to measuring flow rates.

ActiveSONAR™ is the next generation of clamp-on sonar technology that can be retrofitted to a wide range of applications in the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry. The new meters are specifically designed to address the flow rates and heavy schedule piping encountered in upstream oil and gas applications.

The technology, offered to customers through the global Expro Meters business, is launched today at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.

Expro Meters was formed in June 2008 when Expro acquired the oil and gas metering business of CiDRA Corporation, based in Connecticut, USA. Expro Meters develops, manufactures and sells cost-effective clamp-on oil and gas flow metering products and services, further enhancing Expro’s well flow management portfolio.

Expro's PassiveSONAR meter was the technology that pioneered clamp-on metering, using sonar-based, passive-listening technology to interpret the output from an array of strain-based sensors clamped-on to the pipe to determine volumetric flow rate of a wide range of single and multiphase flows.

The new ActiveSONAR meter introduces the next generation by using pulsed-array sonar technology. The non-intrusive, clamp-on design of ActiveSONAR meters enables them to be deployed on new or existing installations, and inherently lowers both the technical risks and operating costs associated with flow measurement.

The combination of ActiveSONAR and PassiveSONAR technology enables Expro Meters to provide clamp-on well flow surveillance specifically designed to address a broad range of wellhead production and injection surveillance applications.

Tony Walker, Expro Meters general manager, said, "Our vision is to create, capture and lead the oil and gas clamp-on metering market by providing our customers with production surveillance which enables field optimisation. We are working towards 24-hour networked wellhead and process surveillance.

"The launch of ActiveSONAR is a significant milestone and a welcome addition to our technology portfolio as it significantly expands the range of addressable wells for Expro Meters' clamp-on surveillance capabilities. We are confident that customers will appreciate the benefits this new generation of sonar-based technology can bring to their business."

Accurate, reliable measurement of wet gas flow has been a long-standing challenge for the upstream oil and gas industry. With ActiveSONAR, Expro Meters has developed technology which has the ability to measure primary gas flow rate over a wide range of wet gas mixtures that can be used for new and existing well installations.

Sonar flow measurement uses sonar-array processing technology to measure volumetric flow rates within pipes by determining the speed at which naturally-occurring, coherent flow structures flow past an array of sensors clamped on to the outside of the pipe. Specifically, sonar flow measurement technology leverages the 'beam forming' techniques, originally developed in underwater acoustics, to determine the location of sound sources underwater.

Sonar flow measurement is applicable to single and two-phase multiphase flows and Expro Meters is developing three-phase meters around this technology. The clamp-on capability is particularly useful for applications in which intrusive flow measurement devices are not practical.