Measurement and Process Engineering Success

17-Sep-2020

By: Mark Davis

THE CHALLENGE

After installing a newly commissioned natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline system into service, a midstream NGL pipeline operator began experiencing large system volume movement imbalances. These imbalances resulted in significant, monthly-recurring financial losses. The customer enlisted Danos’ measurement engineering team to review the system’s measurement processes including equipment, procedures, data flow and volume accounting.

THE SOLUTION 

The Danos team assessed the inlet and outlet measurement metering equipment kits in detail and identified critical errors. The team also found that the configurations between the Omni Flow Computer and the Coriolis mass meter were set up incorrectly. This produced an erroneous volume of flow into the pipeline system from another shipper. In addition, custody transfer sampling and meter proving procedures at inlet and outlet points were not consistent with the American Petroleum Institute (API) standards and industry best practices. Danos recommended improvements for each of these and repaired the issues.

Additionally, Danos engineers conducted process modeling of the system’s NGL movements from a component material balance perspective across the pipeline system. The team identified that hydrocarbon chain molecules were being improperly characterized between inlet and outlet points due to laminar and low flowing conditions in the pipeline. This caused the heavier NGL hydrocarbon components to be mischaracterized and created a loss of value to the customer.

Finally, after demonstrating Danos’ analysis and findings to the shipper, the customer was granted a prior period volume adjustment which resulted in over $1 million of increased revenue for the customer.

 

Mark Davis

Director of Regulatory Compliance Mark Davis leads a dynamic team of handpicked experts providing a range of different measurement services to clients. He began his oil and gas career at Shell Exploration and Production Company and retired in 2016 after nearly 40 years. Mark joined Danos in 2016 and holds an associate’s degree from Louisiana State University and a bachelor’s degree from Nicholls State University.


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