Petrochemicals and refining industries boost global demand for flowmeters

According to a report by Transparency Market Research, the global flowmeters market will be worth $9.61 billion by 2021, up from $5.20 billion in 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate of 9.5 percent between 2015 and 2021.

Environmental regulations for quality control and revenue calculations in the petrochemicals and refining industries of flowmeter use is aiding the growth of the market, the research firm said.

Transparency Market Research also expects growing demand for wastewater infrastructure to create opportunities in the market.

Advanced flowmeters are also driving growth, with older models being replaced by new smart flowmeters which are more reliable and accurate in measurement.

One of the key factors holding back growth of the flowmeters market globally is the shortage of skilled technicians. Lack of specialized equipment for calibration is also hampering growth. Proper calibration of flowmeters is essential, the research firm noted.

The report segments the market on the basis of product type, including Coriolis flowmeter, magnetic flow meter, ultrasonic flowmeter, vortex flowmeter, turbine flowmeter, and others. Of these, magnetic flowmeters held the largest market share of 21 percent in 2014.

By application, the market is segmented into water management, energy management, food, oil and gas, and others. Of these, the food sector accounted for the largest market share of 17.6 percent.

U.S. remains top producer of petroleum and natural gas

The U.S. held on to its position as the world’s largest producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in 2015, according to estimates released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

For the U.S. and Russia, total petroleum and natural gas production is split almost evenly. In contrast, Saudi Arabia’s production heavily favors petroleum.

Crude oil and lease condensate accounted for around 60 percent of the total petroleum hydrocarbon production in the U.S. in 2015. Another 20 percent of U.S. production was natural gas plant liquids. Biofuels and refinery processing gain made up most of the remaining U.S. petroleum and other liquids production volumes.

The EIA noted that U.S. crude oil prices remained relatively low throughout 2015, with the spot price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil declining from $47 per barrel in January to $37 per barrel in December.

But despite low crude oil prices and a 60 percent drop in the number of operating oil and natural gas rigs, U.S. petroleum supply increased by 1.0 million barrels per day in 2015. U.S. natural gas production increased by 3.7 billion cubic feet per day, with nearly all of the increase occurring in the eastern United States.

Increases in U.S. petroleum and natural gas production in recent years are because of production from tight oil and shale gas formations.natural gas, EIA, production, graph

EIA report shows record-breaking month for dry natural gas production

For the sixth straight year, monthly dry natural gas production was the highest since EIA began reporting data on the production in 1973. 2016 levels rose to 74.0 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day, a 0.1 percent increase from 2015 levels of 73.9 Bcf per day.

While production was up, consumption for the same time period decreased to 76.6 Bcf per day, representing a 9.2 percent decline. Dry natural gas consumption fell 7.8 Bcf per day in March 2015.

The EIA also reported that consumption decreased in the residential and commercial sectors but increased in the industrial and electric power deliveries sectors. Residential decreased 28.3 percent and commercial declined 23.1, while industrial rose 0.8 percent and electric power delivered climbed 22.9 percent.

New technology separates oil, gas and water on the seabed

Norwegian research organization SINTEF is working with recently established company Seabed Separation to develop equipment that can be installed on the seabed instead of on the platform deck to reduce the amount of energy needed to separate oil and gas from produced water before processing.

When oil and gas arrive at a platform from a well on the seabed, they are mixed with large volumes of water from the reservoir. To avoid bringing this water to the surface, the new system separates the oil, gas and water on the seabed.

The water is injected back into the reservoir or discharged, if it is clean enough. Meanwhile the oil and gas are transported to the nearest platform for further processing.

Because the water no longer has to be lifted, the daily energy saving using the new seabed system is 20 MWh, which is equivalent to 18 months’ consumption by an average Norwegian household. For all the platforms on the Norwegian continental shelf, the daily saving is equivalent to the daily energy consumption of about 100,000 houses. Consumption of chemicals is also reduced.

Seabed Separation believes the new system, potentially on the market in 2018, will make it possible to develop new oil and gas fields more cost-effectively.