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Expro Meters Selected for Tanker Loading Operations

01 July 2009

International oilfield service company Expro has secured a $500,000 contract to provide its PassiveSONAR™ clamp-on flow meters to enhance shuttle tanker loading and offloading operations in the North Sea.

The contract with Expro Meters, secured from Teekay, in co-operation with StatoilHydro, is in line with regulatory recommendations to improve loading operations.

Expro's PassiveSONAR meters will be used to measure the instantaneous flow rate and provide early warning of any potential loss of containment between the host facility and the shuttle tanker. The PassiveSONAR meters are positioned immediately inboard the bow of the vessel and data is relayed back to the bridge to provide real time monitoring and control of the loading operations.

Given the harsh North Sea conditions, the nature of tanker operations and the large pipe diameters involved - with sizes ranging from 20” through to 32” - the robust, non-intrusive clamp-on flow meters were selected as the most suitable option, avoiding any modification of the piping onboard each vessel. Working with Teekay, Expro Meters installed the meters during routine tanker offloading operations at various receiving terminals, avoiding any unnecessary or costly delay in the shuttle tanker schedules.

PassiveSONAR, offered to the market through the Expro Meters business, can be deployed on new or existing installations and provides robust performances over a range of process conditions, flow regimes and pipe sizes. Its applications include, but are not limited to, wellhead production surveillance, pipeline monitoring, process optimisation and inline production testing.

Its benefits include:

· Low cost

· Installation without process shutdown

· Full-bore flow measurement – no pressure drop

· Non intrusive – no pressure tappings

· No calibration required

· Measurement within a multiphase environment

Tony Walker, general manager of Expro Meters, said: “We are very pleased to be given the opportunity to provide a solution to Teekay on this important project. While applying PassiveSONAR meters on tanker loading and offloading is not a core application for our new technology, it does demonstrate our ability to be flexible to the needs of our customers over a range of applications in the oil and gas industry. This project is an innovative use of PassiveSONAR in an environmentally-sensitive situation and once again reinforces Expro's credentials as solution providers.”

Ingvild Sæther, Vice President of Shuttle Tankers at Teekay said: “The installation of the Expro PassiveSONAR flow meters on our shuttle tankers is another important step in our efforts to continuously improve the safety of our offshore loading operations. We have worked closely with StatoilHydro on this initiative and we are pleased with the solution offered by Expro Meters.”

Expro has further enhanced its portfolio of metering technology with the launch of ActiveSONAR™, the next generation of clamp-on sonar technology. ActiveSONAR 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.