Density calibration center should reduce North Sea production disputes

Offshore staff

EAST KILBRIDE, UK – NEL has unveiled the UK’s first densitometer calibration facility to comply with the government’s interim policy guidance for fiscal applications in the UK oil industry.

The new requirements, issued by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), follow a joint industry project (JIP) that identified deficiencies in the calibration of liquid densitometers. This had implications for the industry in the North Sea, as incorrect measurements left companies open to potential disputes and financial exposure.

Dr. Norman Glen, head of Density Measurement at NEL, said: “The discovery of these issues led to a loss of measurement confidence throughout the North Sea oil industry. However, the recommendations of the JIP, and the consequent significant improvement to calibration facilities, means that it can now be assured of accurate financial reporting, fair trade, and taxation.”

DECC’s guidance recommends that densitometers should now be calibrated at their expected operating conditions, i.e. simultaneously at temperature and pressure, using one or more transfer fluids.

The new facility can provide calibration across a temperature range from 10-110oC (50-230ºF), at pressures from 1-100 bar (14.5-1,450 psi). The temperature of the densitometer under calibration can also be controlled to within 0.01ºC (0.018ºF), and the pressure of the fluid within 0.02 bar (0.29 psi).

All measurements are traceable to national standards. NEL says this provides the overall traceability needed to ensure confidence in the calibration of densitometers. That, in turn, should improve the measurement accuracy of density throughout the UK North Sea.


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