Oceaneering Develops Industry-First ROV-Installable Subsea Ultrasonic Flowmeter

Innovation enables non-invasive subsea flow measurement for model validation or calibration

1 Project Overview

Based on a unique customer requirement, Oceaneering developed an ROV-installable subsea ultrasonic flowmeter used to determine gas injection flow rate to an individual well offshore Australia.

This tool was designed to optimize injection of a sealant into the wellbore by measuring flow rate in a 3-inch gas lift jumper coated in three-layer polypropylene (3LPP).

2 Issues

The customer had attempted to rectify a leak using a sealant.

Because they were unable to measure the gas injection to the well properly, the customer was unsuccessful in their efforts to repair the leak. The gas flow rate appeared to be "too high." Oceaneering’s innovative solution provided the customer with an alternative to the only other solution—a costly rig-based workover.

Subsea Ultrasonic Flowmeter.6 (1)

3 Our Solution

We needed to successfully marinize an ROV-installable ultrasonic flowmeter.

For this to be possible, the flowmeter had to be fitted with a safe and reliable attachment mechanism. The mechanism was designed as a "push on" clamp so that in the event of a vessel runoff, the clamp would pull off without damaging either the pipeline or the clamp. An Oceaneering team based at the Jandakot, Australia, site worked with a team of local experts to create the solution.

4 Excecution Plan

Early engagement with the customer in January 2020 provided the development team with time to work with the distributor and original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

After assessing the technical risk of the project and developing a solid project concept, Oceaneering was awarded a contract to develop the new marinized flowmeter. The time from awarding of the purchase order to mobilization was eight weeks.

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5 Results

The flowmeter allowed the customer to inject proper amount of sealant.

The flowmeter identified that the choke indicator was incorrect. When the flowmeter was installed, and the choke “closed,” it was found it needed to be closed in two positions for flow to go to zero. The customer was then able to inject the correct rate of sealant based on gas flowrate.

This was the first time an ultrasonic flowmeter was installed and used by an ROV to measure gas or liquid subsea. Customers are now able to non-invasively verify choke positions, calibrate permanently installed flow meters, and validate flow assurance models by measuring gas or liquid flow on existing infrastructure.

With this ROV-deployable solution, Oceaneering can potentially help customers prevent a costly rig workover.

Ultrasonic Gas Flowmeter Real

6 Project Highlights

  • Ability to correctly dose subsea chemicals, reducing waste and improve chemical efficiency
  • Ability to calibrate the choke, delivering significant cost savings

Let us help you find the correct engineered solution to solve your toughest project challenges. 

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Company page Since our founding in the early 1960s, Oceaneering has expanded and grown globally to service several industries such as the offshore energy industry, defense, entertainment, material handling, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries. In 1964, Mike Hughes and Johnny Johnson formed a Gulf of Mexico diving company called World Wide Divers. The company grew in response to increasing demand for their services and in 1969 merged with two other diving companies to form Oceaneering International, Inc. To solve the toughest challenges, we do things differently, creatively, and smarter. As your trusted partner, our unmatched experience and truly innovative portfolio of technologies and solutions give us the flexibility to adapt and evolve, regardless of market conditions. Our mission is to solve the unsolvable. We thrive by creating industry-changing technically creative solutions for the most complex operational challenges under water, on land, and in space. Our five core values establish a common culture and demonstrate what is most important for us as a company. Since the beginning, the company has transformed from a small regional diving company into a global provider of engineered products and services. Today, we develop products and services for use throughout the lifecycle of an offshore oilfield, from drilling to decommissioning. We operate the world's premier fleet of work class ROVs. Additionally, we are a leader in offshore oilfield maintenance services, umbilicals, subsea hardware, and tooling. We also serve the aerospace, defense, and theme park industries. Underpinning everything we do, safety is not only the foundation of our core values, but it is vital to our unmatched performance record and company culture. The industries we serve are as diverse as they are complex. Whether we are engineering deepwater umbilicals or developing robotics for aerospace applications, the safety and health of our employees, vendors, and customers is an integral part of our day-to-day business. If we are working, then our responsibility is to be working safely. Since our inception in 1964, we have placed a high value on employee safety—from diving services and subsea inspection to vessel-based installation operations. We have and will continue to evolve not only our health, safety, and environmental (HSE) processes, but those of the industries in which we work. Although we have been fatality-free since 1999, our HSE journey goes beyond statistics. As our portfolio of services has grown, we have continued to prioritize and advance our approach to HSE.