by Jesse Yoder

Welcome to FlowTimes! This issue updates you on some important new developments in the world of flow. It also brings you up-to-date on some of our new and upcoming market studies. As you will see, the push for energy and the search for oil and gas is having an impact on the world of flow, and it is impacting our projects as well.

Flow Research In the Middle East
From July – December 2009, I did quite a lot of traveling to the Middle East and Europe. This travel was mainly connected to research we are doing for our upcoming study on gas flow measurement. I found the Middle East to be a fascinating place, with massive natural supplies of both crude oil and natural gas. Besides Dubai and Abu Dhabi, I visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman.

I gained a much better understanding of the vast wealth that exists in the Middle East in both crude oil and natural gas. Yet the oil and natural gas producers over there face many of the same problems that companies do in other parts of the world. Like US companies, they are trying to decide between new-technology and traditional technology flowmeters. Custody transfer applications are critical for them. One difference is that many of the companies are partially or wholly owned by the government, and many of the companies there are very large.

Our gas flow study, The World Market for Gas Flow Measurement, 2nd Edition, will be published in July 2010. It will feature three separate modules: Natural Gas Producers Worldwide (Module A); Natural Gas Producers in the Middle East (Module B); and The World Market for Custody Transfer of Natural Gas (Module C).

Environmental Requirements Boost Thermal Flowmeter Sales
The new age of environmental awareness, together with the Kyoto Accord and and greenhouse gas initiatives, has resulted in a rewriting of the rules on greenhouse gas emissions. There is suddenly a demand to measure greenhouse gases in applications that formerly may have gone unnoticed. Many of these applications present opportunities for thermal flowmeters. These new environmental requirements are helping boost the sales of thermal flowmeters.

FMC Technologies Acquires Multi-Phase Meters
FMC Technologies Inc issued an offer to acquire Multi-Phase Meters AS in Sept. 2009 and closed the deal in November. Based in Stavanger, Norway, MPM is a global leader in the development and manufacture of high-performance multi-phase flowmeters for the oil and gas industry. FMC acquired 100 percent ownership of MPM, with an initial cash payment of approximately $30 million and two earn-out payments based on 6.6 times 2012 and 2013 EBITDA.

MPM’s metering technology delivers high accuracy and self-calibrating multiphase meters, with low maintenance features to meet the industry’s increasingly demanding requirements for subsea applications as well as topside applications. The MPM product line augments FMC’s portfolio of technologies for optimizing oil and gas recovery.

For comments on the meaning of this acquisition, see Flow Research”s Market Barometer, Q3 & Q4 2009 at www.worldflow.com.

Exxon to Acquire XTO Energy
Exxon Mobil Corporation and XTO Energy Inc. initiated an all-stock transaction valued at $41 billion in December 2009. The agreement, which is subject to XTO stockholder approval and regulatory clearance, is expected to enhance ExxonMobil’s position in the development of unconventional natural gas and oil resources.

Under terms of the agreement, approved by the boards of directors of both companies, ExxonMobil has agreed to issue 0.7098 common shares for each common share of XTO. This represents a 25 percent premium to XTO stockholders. The transaction value includes $10 billion of existing XTO debt and is based on the closing share prices of ExxonMobil and XTO on December 11, 2009.

For an in-depth analysis of the meaning of this acquisition and other acquisitions in the natural gas industry, see Flow Research”s Energy Monitor for Q3 & Q4 2009 at www.worldflow.com.

Flow Research”s 2010 Study Schedule
• The World Market for Vortex Flowmeters, 4th Edition, March 2010 (www.FlowVortex.com)
• The World Market for Liquid Analytical Instruments, April 2010 (www.FlowAnalytical.com)
• The World Market for Gas Flow Measurement, 2nd Edition, July 2010 (www.GasFlows.com) Note: Includes three add-on modules on natural gas producers and custody transfer of natural gas.
• The World Market for Turbine Flowmeters, 2nd Edition, August 2010 (www.flowturbine.com)
• The World Market for Positive Displacement Flowmeters, 2nd Edition, September 2010 (www.flowpd.com)
• Volume X: The World Market for Flowmeters, 3rd Edition, October 2010 (www.floweverything.com)

Jesse Yoder, Ph.D., is president of Flow Research, Inc. in Wakefield, Mass., a company he founded in 1998. He has 22 years of experience as an analyst and writer in process control. Yoder specializes in flowmeters and other field devices, including pressure and temperature products. He has written over 100 market research studies in industrial automation and process control and has published more than 95 journal articles on instrumentation topics. Dr. Yoder can be reached at jesse@flowresearch.com or 781 245-3200.

www.flowresearch.com