Ultrasonic technology is particularly attractive for custody transfer flow measurements when it comes to invoicing for gas levels, and also for measuring flare gas. With its individual components and entire system solutions for use in measuring stations across the oil and gas industry, SICK’s measuring technology is really convincing as the best solution. In fact, advanced system projects are what SICK Metering Systems does best. The joint venture carried out one of these projects successfully in partnership with German SICK Vertriebs-GmbH at a major European gas supplier’s gas terminal in East Frisia, Germany.
The 440-kilometer “Norpipe” pipeline has been pumping natural gas from Norway to Emden, East Frisia, since 1977. Here the gas is prepared before being fed to the gas distribution network. This much-needed modernization of the measuring technology in the gas terminal represents an investment in the future of the gas supply. In the last two years alone, the consortium of several Norwegian energy companies has spent around 600 million euros on the expansion and modernization of this gas terminal. The terminal will be up and running at full capacity in 2016. Reliable measuring technology for recording gas volumes is also essential for ensuring the natural gas energy supply.
Reliable measuring technology for the natural gas supply
The operator of the natural gas terminal in East Frisia has commissioned technology company The Linde Group to operate as general contractor in the renovation of the existing natural gas terminal, which is already 30 years old. As a system integrator with a range of services including product and system knowledge as well as project management and support, SICK Metering Systems makes a significant contribution to the renovation of the natural gas terminal. This in itself is a key stepping-stone to safeguarding the future of the natural gas supply from Norway for Germany and the rest of Europe.
Flow metering: The key to accurate billing
Measuring volumetric flow for custody transfer purposes and emission monitoring of flare gas are absolutely essential from an economic perspective. In this project, the measuring station has five gas metering lines, each over 25 m in length. In each of these measuring trains, the amount of gas is measured with the greatest precision using a FLOWSIC600 ultrasonic gas flow meter by SICK. Ensuring that the technologies in use are fail-safe is a fundamental concern of the measuring station users, who have extremely high requirements in this regard. For this reason, a second ultrasonic gas flow meter from another manufacturer was installed in series behind the FLOWSIC600 due to the difficulties involved in a direct flange-to-flange installation.
Customers in Germany and other European countries are billed based on energy levels rather than gas levels. These energy levels are calculated by SICK’s Flow-X flow computer using the measured gas volume and energy content. A gas chromatograph calculates the energy content from the measured gas composition and the methane content in particular. All gas and energy levels for the individual measuring trains are displayed in a station control computer and summarized in reports.
The station control computer monitors the status of the measuring station and forwards the account data to the central database in Norway. The FLOWSIC600 have been calibrated for this highpressure application at EuroLoop in the Netherlands. The high-pressure calibration of a 25-meter measuring section such as this poses a real logistical challenge, but it is no problem at all for SICK and its established partners.
To monitor the emissions from the flare gases, the FLOWSIC100 Flare mass flow measuring device measures the mass flow in a 2-path configuration. This means that the measurement operation can still continue even if one of the two ultrasonic paths fails. The Flow-X flow computer also forms part of the system solution in this area too.
SICK Metering Systems: From concept to completition
SICK Metering Systems demonstrates that it is even possible to meet specific customer requirements within existing infrastructures. The outstanding flexibility of SICK Metering Systems can really be seen when it comes to integrating information technology. The project planning phase provided the opportunity to both determine requirements and advise the measuring station users in Germany on the suitable devices and Software.