Custom flowmeter manufacturer Litre Meter has embarked on its first major oil production-related project in South East Asia. The Buckingham-based company is supplying 44 positive displacement flowmeters for a joint venture project between PremierOil and PetroVietnam.

The meters form part of a chemical injection metering skid system to be installed on a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) at Premier Oil’s Chim Sao drilling and production platform located offshore Vietnam, Block 12W. It is located in the Nam Con Son Basin about 400km south-east of Ho Chi Minh City, close to the maritime boundary with Indonesia.

The new chemical injection skid is being installed on the FPSO to control costs and optimise chemical rates as oil production is increased next year.

Litre Meter was chosen to provide meters for the chemical injection rack because it has undergone a rigorous accreditation process to attain international safety accreditation, including Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and ATEX explosion-proof certification for equipment used in hazardous locations.

Accreditation means that Litre Meter flowmeters have safety certification for use anywhere that UL and ATEX safety standards must be adhered to.

The meters supplied are low flowmeters designed to measure a range of chemicals, including demulsifier, defoamer, scale inhibitor, water clarifier, corrosion inhibitors and methanol.

Accurately controlling the amounts of chemicals, such as corrosion inhibitors, that are added to crude oil is essential to minimising production costs. If too much is used they need to be removed when the oil is refined – and this can cost nearly 10% of the price of a barrel of oil.

These chemicals are also expensive. Typically 30% of the running costs of an oil rig are associated with the chemicals used to pre-treat crude oil before it is pumped shore side. The VFF flowmeters measure the flow of the inhibitor chemical to an accuracy of 0.5%, making it possible to control its use to a very high tolerance.

Litre Meter’s VFF flowmeter is ideally suited for use in the petrochemical industry and in particular for low-flow / high-pressure applications. The instrument has been tested and proved capable of operating reliably at 60 times NAS1638, class NAS12. This confirms the instrument’s capability of reliably measuring fluids with very high particle contamination – such as some chemicals that are added to crude oil.

The VFF flowmeter is suitable for measuring liquids at pressure ratings up to 4,000bar (60,000psi) and flow rates from 0.0004l/m (0.5l per day) to over 270l/min. It is of an intrinsically safe design and manufactured to operate reliably at temperatures ranging from -40°C to 150°C.

Flowmeters on the Chim Sao metering skid operate at pressures up to 3,675psig and have been calibrated to monitor a variety of flow rates from zero up to 295l/hr.